What Are The 6 Areas of Preparedness?

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What Are The 6 Areas of PreparednessWhether you are preparing for a week or a year the 6 areas or preparedness should be your considered in everything you do while prepping. The 6 areas of preparedness are food, water, shelter, security, sanitation and first aid…not in any certain order.

These are the building blocks of any good preparedness plan. How you prepare in each of these areas will depend on your personal situation, but they need to be included in every preparedness plan.

SPP202 The 6 Areas of Preparedness

There aren’t a lot of show notes this week, because I have written extensively about the 6 areas of preparedness in the past. I will however briefly cover what we talked about in the show, and then give you a couple of links that go into more detail. If you have any questions about any of these 6 areas of preparedness, leave a comment below.

Storing Food

How much food you store, and what you store is completely up to you. There are many suggestions about food storage in the prepper community, but your finances, family size, and storage space all need to be considered. The only wrong way to store food is to not have any when you need it.

In this weeks show we talked about: Different ways to find and store food, pantry food, long term food storage products, preserving food, hunting, wild edibles, and SHTF fuel and cooking options.

A Preppers Food Storage: One Sizes Does not Fit All

Long Term Food Storage Techniques & Ideas

Mother Natures Wilderness Survival Foods

Water Storage & Safety

These days all you have to do is turn on your faucet and you have clean drinking water, but what if that wasn’t the case? Most people wouldn’t even know where to start if they had to clean their water, but you do, right? Honestly, cleaning water and making it drinkable isn’t as hard as it seems, it just takes a little bit of knowledge.

If you are confused at all about how to clean your water, and what might be in it, I wrote this article titled What’s the Right Water Filter For Preppers? This article goes over different types of filters, as well as what they will (and will not) remove.

In the show we talked about: How much water to store, what a water filter can do, what is a micron, why treat stored water, and alternatives to storing water.

Finding and Storing Water for Preppers

Finding Water In the City When the SHTF

SHTF Water Filtering and Purification For Preppers

Survival Shelter 

When it comes to survival shelter, your home is the most important. Disasters come in different shapes and sizes, and bugging out might not be necessary. Our home is our base camp, so leaving it should be avoided if possible. With that being said, bugging out may be unavoidable, and we need to have the skills and knowledge to do so.

In the show we talked about: What is shelter? Protecting yourself from the elements, your home ,and bug out shelter.

How Many Bug Out Locations Do You Need?

Wilderness Survival skills for Preppers

Tips for Successfully Bugging In

Personal Security

Your personal security starts with you, and extends to your home and your surroundings. Everything we do on a daily basis either puts us at risk, or makes us safer. Everything from what we do online, to protecting our home from intruders needs to be considered on a daily basis.

In the show we talked about: Security around the home, bugging out, self defense, online security, OPSEC , and Situational awareness.

SHTF Perimeter Security: What You Can Do Now, To Prepare For Then

Being the Gray man & Situational Awareness

Large and Small Scale Escape & Evasion Tactics for Preppers

15 SHTF Perimeter Security and Alarm Ideas

Sanitation

One commonly overlooked aspect of preparedness is sanitation. With the availability of over the counter medications, medical facility’s, and being lucky enough to live in a first world country, we don’t think about the dangers of bad sanitation. In a SHTF situation it’s not just about body odor and stinky feet. It’s about preventing illness, and not adding to an already bad situation.

In the show we talked about: Sanitation around the home, personal hygiene, sickness prevention, and SHTF Sanitation in general.

Podcast: SHTF Sanitation

Foodborne Illness and Prevention for Preppers

SHTF Wound Care: Safety & Sanitation

Post Collapse Sanitation, Diseases and Antibiotics

First Aid & Medical Skills

Whether you are a natural disaster, or an all out SHTF scenario, first aid should be one of your top priorities. Most of these basic first aid skills are easy to learn, and when you do, you’ll have a better idea about what supplies you need. In a survival situation, you might be the only option. You could literally make the difference between someone dying or living.

In the show we talked about: Basic first aid supplies, first aid skills and SHTF first aid.

First Aid and Medical Skills For Preppers

What Should Go In Your First Aid Kit Part 1

First Aid Supplies And Money Saving Tips For Prepers

Let Us Know…

If you have any questions or comments about the show, let us know below. Also, if you have any tips or advice that might help others, we’d love to hear that too.

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Interview With Kevin From Wilderness Safety Institute

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Interview With Kevin From Wilderness Safety InstituteIn this weeks Survivalist Prepper podcast we had Kevin from Wilderness Safety Institute on to talk about wilderness medicine, EMT skills, water filtration, survival myths and a few other subjects. Because there is so much information that goes into each of these subjects we will probably have Kevin on in the future…watch for that.

Kevin is an instructor at Wilderness Safety Institute where they have courses on wilderness survival skills, basic survival skills, urban survival and first aid. Here is a little from his bio page at WSI…

Kevin has had an avid interest in the outdoors since his father took him fishing at age 3, and has continued to pursue many outdoor activities for over 45 years, such as hiking, camping, fishing, trapping, and hunting.

While serving as a Reconnaissance Specialist in the US Military, he started his diving career, and holds the certifications of DiveMaster and Master Scuba Diver, with over 15 specialties.

For most of his life, he has not only been continually learning, but has used that knowledge about nature and the outdoors to teach others.

Kevin has taught members of Search and Rescue teams, participated in numerous SAR missions, given lectures on diving medicine at university hospitals, volunteered as an EMT and firefighter in his local community, served as an Assistant Scoutmaster with a local Boy Scouts Troop, and actively participates in educational podcasts and videos for EMS providers.

For more about Kevin visit his bio page here.

SPP201 Interview With Kevin From Wilderness Survival Institute

Here are a few notes from the show…

Wilderness medicine: We didn’t talk about medicinal herbs, we talked about how to help yourself when no help is available, and learning the basics. Wilderness medicine could help in many disaster scenarios, not just in the woods. – prevention

The SURVIVAL acronym: In any survival situation, or any critical situation it is important to stay calm and focused. Keeping your wits about you can eliminate unnecessary mistakes. Here is an article I wrote in the past about the S.U.R.V.I.V.A.L. acronym. 

Roughing it at home: Learning survival skills doesn’t mean you need to head out into the woods for a week. learning to do things at home without modern conveniences can show you how things might be, not just how everyone else says it will be.

Learning skills: You don’t need a degree to be survival smart. Taking smaller courses and classes can teach you needed survival skills without becoming an “expert”. Don’t totally depend on YouTube University.

Becoming EMT certified: The cost to become EMT certified depends on your area, in my area it’s about $1,500 and takes a few months. This is something that is well worth the time and money…unfortunately I just don’t have it right now. This is why the smaller basic courses might be a better option.

Quick Clot, good or bad? Avoid the older style granules, but the short answer is good. If you need to stop severe bleeding, you need to stop it. Doctors hate it, because the wound needs to be derided, But when it’s life or death the choice is simple. Here is a QuickClot training link I found that goes over what it is, and how it works.

Why suturing is not a great idea (for most people):  As preppers, we hear all the time about suturing and why it’s a necessary skill. We talked in the show about why it’s not a good idea for most people, and some alternatives like Steri Strips and the Isreali wound closure we talked about a few weeks ago.

Survival show myths: With the magic of editing, these “survival experts” can do just about anything. The truth is that while we can gleen some minor education from these shows, doing something (taking classes) is much better than watching something.

Water filtering education: what will do what – Katadyn Hiker PRO – Katadyn Micropur MP1 Purification Tablets (The only tablet or liquid proven effective against viruses, bacteria, Giardia, and Cryptosporidium in all water conditions) (Water filter link Article)

The Disaster Podcast: Kevin is a recurring guest on the Disaster podcast which is available on iTunes and other podcasting apps. This podcast is great! It goes over disaster situations from a medical perspective.

Training Classes Discount for Members: Kevin is a trainer for a number of survival courses, and if the group is large enough he will travel just about anywhere (in the U.S.) to teach. Kevin has offered a 25% discount for Survivalist Prepper Academy members. If you are interested just send me an email and I’ll get you in touch with Kevin.

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Spring and Summer Prepping Ideas

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Spring and Summer Prepping IdeasAs spring and summer arrive, everything starts to spring to life, and that should include us. The winter time can lead us to becoming complacent about prepping because there is only so much we can do indoors. You can’t go camping, you can’t grow a garden, and you can’t practice fire starting skills indoors…or you shouldn’t anyway.

This is my most favorite time of the year! The days are getting longer, it is finally warm outside, and it is the pre-season to summer, when we will be prepping up a storm!

Since the weather is warming up, and the days are getting longer, this is the perfect time to get outside and get some work done. It is still too early to plant our garden outside yet, it snowed yesterday morning, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get everything ready to go.

SPP199 Spring and Summer Prepping Ideas

Getting Outside

As the days get longer and warmer, we finally have the chance to get outside and get some work done, so why not take advantage of it. Prepping is about much more than what supplies we have, it’s about skills and being ready for some hard times.

Gardening: There is a lot of prep work that goes into gardening. Now is the perfect time to acclimate yourself to being outside. Get those garden beds ready! Weed, and work the dirt. Get your compost pile in shape, and move some ready compost to your garden.

Camping:  Going camping doesn’t mean heading out to the woods for a week with nothing more than a bug out bag. Camping is a great way to apply all those skills we learned over the winter. it’s also a great way of getting away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and spend some quality time with the family.

Physical Fitness: Any sort of SHTF event, or disaster scenario is going to require some hard work.Not only that, but the healthier we are now, the less problems we will have is these scenarios. When we are cooped up in the house, it can be tough to stay physically fit, but the summer brings a number of opportunity’s.

Taking your bug out bag for a walk, planting a garden or doing work around the house are all great ways to become “Farmer Strong” as Dale calls it. I know plenty of farmers who could outwork a gym rat every day of the week.

Go For a Hike: With the weather being warmer, this is an excellent time to put your pack on, and go out for a hike. Keep it short at first, and maybe only take the bare necessities the first couple of times you go out. You will build endurance, as well as some muscle.

Walking is an excellent way to get in shape. And by making it fun, and bringing your camera a long to capture some memories along your journey can motivate you to keep going.

Have a Stay-Cation

Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a trip, why not use that money for an improvement around your home? Instead of going to lay on a beach somewhere or traveling to faraway places, I usually take my vacation to get caught up around our home. It’s also fun to sleep in at home, and spend the day moving slowly around home, instead of hurrying up and going somewhere. We also use that time to take shorter day trips to places around us and exploring new places within our own community.

Clean Out the Garage

If your garage is anything like mine, it isn’t just for storing your cars. In fact, our garage is a workshop and a “catchall” for our preparedness supplies. Over time, things get moved around and misplaced. Move that stuff out, go through it, and make sure you are organized.

If you are lucky enough to have a garage, take advantage of the storage space. Hang peg board up, or build some shelves. Do what you can to make the most of the space you have. Over time, you will have more preparedness supplies than you know what to do with…believe me, I know!

Make Important Repairs

If things have been piling up on your “to do” list, now is the time to get those projects done. It doesn’t all have to be done in one weekend, but take advantage of the warmer weather while you can. Instead of overwhelming yourself by trying to get everything done at one time (Lisa) get your list and focus on one task at a time.

Do it right, and do it well. By the end of the summer, hopefully you will have everything checked or crossed off that list. Again, take advantage of the warm weather. It’s much easier to make needed repairs when it’s warm and dry, than it is slopping through mud or a foot of snow.

Neighborhood Get Together

Some of us might be a little leery about putting our selves out there with the neighbors, but it is very important. We should always be mindful of our operational security, but because these people are right outside our front door, it’s important to know who they actually are.

You don’t necessarily need to have a full blown neighborhood BBQ (unless you want to), but anything we can do to get to know who our neighbors really are, not “who we think they are” will give us a better idea about who will be helpful, and who we need to watch out for.

Learning Something New

Again, don’t set out to complete a new task every weekend. Instead think of one thing you really want to do and do it. For me, it is planting a cornfield. That has been something I have always wanted to do, and this summer, I am going to do it! I might also learn how to start a fire the non-traditional way and challenge Dale to a fire starting contest, but the corn field comes first.

Dale is planning on learning to pressure can. We can’t do this indoors because we have a ceramic top stove, so he plans on getting an outdoor propane burner. He is also getting ready to start the “Bushcraft Prepping” course at the Survivalist Prepper Academy.

These are just a few things to think about before summer is in full swing around us. Plan and prepare now for an incredible and productive summer. How about you? What are your plans for the upcoming summer?

Also from the show…

200th Episode Giveaway: To celebrate our 200th episode of the Survivalist Prepper Podcast we are giving away a great compound bow package from Apollo-Tactical along with a couple other prizes. Click here to enter the giveaway.

YouTube Live: Earlier this week Dale and I were on the Learning to be Prepared YouTube channel talking about preparedness. Click here to watch the replay. We mentioned a podcast Dale did in the past with Brian Gittens from the UK. You can listen to that here.

HydroFlo Water Filter Discount: Dale recently did a video on the HydroFlo Jerry Can water filter, and they have also set up a coupon code SP20 for fans of Survivalist Prepper to get a 20% discount. Have a look at their website here.

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The Dangers of Becoming Complacent as Preppers

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The Dangers of Becoming Complacent as Preppers Most of the time prepping is about being in the “hurry up and wait” mode, which can cause us to become complacent about prepping. This might seem counter intuitive, but not having to use our preparedness supplies because of a disaster is actually a good thing.

While some of us might secretly hope for a small power outage, or a reason to test our preparedness level, hopefully none of us hope for a large-scale disaster that could change our lives forever.

SPP198 The Dangers of Becoming Complacent as Preppers

Below is a list of the topics we covered in the Survivalist Prepper Show this week. We talked about everything from escalating tensions around the world, preparing for natural disasters and other dangers of becoming complacent as preppers.

No Sense of Urgency

It can be tough to prioritize prepping when things are going good, and we don’t have that a sense of urgency. I think this happened to quite a few people after this election. People thought that because Trump won (or maybe because Hillary lost) they could relax about their prepping.

We can’t afford to lose our sense of urgency and become complacent with prepping, because bad things usually happen when we least expect it. When those times come that I feel like I have nothing to worry about, I start to worry about what I’m missing.

The Calm Before the Storm

With prepping, there are always ebbs and flows. There are times when I seems like everything is going well, but we know something could be right around the corner. While we are always looking ahead, some people don’t. Some people sell off their preparedness supplies or let their food storage dwindle.

As preppers we need to take advantage of this lull in the action instead of becoming complacent. When there is less demand, it usually means cheaper prices and sales. We can also take advantage of this lull in action and do some of the things we have been putting off for a while.

Attention to Detail

Sometimes when we think we have the best plan in the world, we end up getting bit in the butt because of something minor. In a SHTF scenario something minor could turn into something life threatening. We could have the best bug out vehicle, packed to the roof with all of our preparedness supplies, but if we forget to fill the gas tank it’s game over.

We can get complacent about everything from getting an oil change, to preparing for complete societal breakdown. As people we are creatures of habit, and we need to make a conscious effort to avoid that. This is why knowledge and skills are so important. The more we know, the better our chances are of catching those small details.

The Easy Life

Just about no one alive today has ever had to live through a world wide crisis (like WW2) and there has never been a large scale attack on U.S. Soil other than Pearl Harbor. The weapons we have today are much different than the mortars and tanks of WW2. Weapons are being developed that can be launched for anywhere around the world, and land in your back yard.

With countries like N.Korea and Iran hell bent on our destruction we can afford to be complacent. The United States has been the king of the hill for a very long time. The only way do remain the king of the hill and keep our freedoms is to deal with those who threaten us, not by crossing our fingers or asking please.

Crying Wolf

Sometimes as preppers we can become complacent because we fear an economic collapse and nothing happens. We hear about N.Korea testing missiles and nothing happens. The more this happens, the more we say “yeah, I’ve heard this story before”.

The problem is that we know eventually something will happen, whether it’s an economic collapse, bombs dropping or something else. Just like the story of the boy who cried wolf, eventually the wolf will come, and the sheep that are asleep will be the first to go.

Outside Our Front Door

At times we can get so focused on the larger SHTF scenarios that we forget about natural disasters  and things around the home. While these larger disaster scenarios are important, there are other small scale scenarios we need to keep in mind.

Preparing for natural disasters and personal doomsday’s could be more important because they are more likely to affect you. Prepping isn’t just about Nuclear bombs and Martial Law, it’s about being prepared for ANYTHING that might affect you and your family.

Situational Awareness

As I said earlier, people are creatures of habit. Eventually these habits become routine, and we are basically sleepwalking through life. We might take the same route to work everyday, or we might go to the bank the same time and day every week. This all makes us to becoming a target for someone who is paying attention to what we are doing, even when we aren’t.

Situational awareness is also about paying attention to what is going on around you at all times. It can be easy to become complacent because our daily lives are usually pretty boring, and nothing ever happens. Criminals are opportunists, and all they need is 1 opportunity to take advantage of.

Our Health

Becoming complacent about our health is probably something we all do at one point or another. This is because the affects of not eating right, or not exercising aren’t immediately noticeable. Over time these affects could lead to health issues and illness that could have dire consequences in an SHTF scenario.

It seems like some people won the genetic lottery and can eat of drink whatever they want, while some of us need to watch out for everything. Regardless which category you fit into, it’s important to be as healthy as possible because when there are no doctors or medications available, you are on your own.

Overconfidence

Overconfidence can lead to complacency because we think we have it all figured out. Sometimes we can work our butts of preparing and take a break for a week. That week can turn into a month, and then 6 months leaving us right back where we started.

We all know that “know it all” or someone who thinks they have it all figured out. Anyone who tells you they know everything about a certain subject is probably not the person to listen to. We are all constantly learning and evolving, and there is always something new to learn.

Urgency and Fear

There is a huge difference between prepping with urgency, and prepping because of fear. We can’t afford to let these disaster scenarios consume our lives. Yes, there are some pretty bad things, and some pretty bad people out there, but all we can do is what we can do.

The reason we prepare is to remove some of that fear. We can only do what we can do, and the rest is in gods hands.

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First Aid and Medical Skills For Preppers

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If you are reading this right now I am still working on this post. I will have it finished shortly…
First Aid and Medical Skills For PreppersWhile food, water and shelter are the 3 most important aspects of prepping, first aid and medical skills for preppers aren’t far behind. There could be times when medical help isn’t available, or even times where we can save some money by treating minor injuries and sickness ourselves.

This article isn’t a list of first aid supplies for preppers, you can find more information than you need with a simple Google search. We even have a couple here and here. This article is more about how to decide which medical supplies you might need.

Just like everything with preparedness, we can’t move on to the “bigger and better” until we take care of the basics. First aid for preppers is not always about bullet wounds and Severed limbs, but that doesn’t mean we can ignore that aspect of it.  USCrow: Advanced Medical Care https://uscrow.org/category/survival-skills/advanced-medical-skills/

SPP197 First Aid and Medical Skills For Preppers

The truth is, there are illnesses and accidents that happen on a daily basis. These minor issues could turn into bigger issues if we don’t know how to treat them. Without refrigeration, foodborne illnesses could become commonplace and diseases like Cholera could rear their ugly head once again.

Most Common Issues

Respiratory, Infection, Diarrhea

Diagnosis & Vital Signs (figure out what your dealing with)

Prevention

Personal Hygiene and Sanitation | hygienic conditions (no clean running water)

Tailor your kit to your needs (Family medical conditions, lifestyle, location)

Training – Learn what you need to learn (In order – A,B,C, not A,D,B,C)

Survival Medicine

(shtf applications will require more than the basics) http://americansurvivor.org/home/survival-medics/

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Beware of These Prepping Pitfalls

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Beware of These Prepping PitfallsWhen it comes to preparedness, there are many pitfalls we need to be aware of, especially if we have been at this for a while. With prepping covering such a wide range of topics, it can be pretty easy to get overwhelmed and/or overspent.

spinning platesWhile there is no way to avoid every prepping pitfall, if we pay attention, and keep out head in the game, we can avoid most of these. I’ve probably said this a hundred time, but prepping isn’t brain surgery. It can however feel like spinning plates because there is just so much to do to become better prepared.

SPP196 Beware of These Prepping Pitfalls

This week in the Survivalist Prepper podcast Lisa and I talked about some of the areas of preparedness we need to pay more attention to, and some things to avoid.

Prepping can be hard enough without adding unnecessary headaches to the process.

Getting Too Wound Up

With all the cable news networks and thousands of websites, it can be hard to decipher between fact, fiction and opinion. It can be easier said than done sometimes, but we need to understand that there is only so much we can do. Yes, we do need to pay attention to all these disaster scenarios, but we can’t afford to let them paralyze us.

Fake News & Fear

With all these news channels and websites it can be hard to get the real story, and when you add in fear based marketing, it can seem impossible. Sometimes the truth is secondary to clicks and ratings. In this Prepper Website Podcast Todd talked about how this affects prepping websites also.

Gimmicks and Scams

I recently did a video about some of the gimmicks and scams we need to avoid. In that video I mentioned that some of these gimmicks can be interesting and useful (credit card knife), and some are just worthless (Everstrike match). We also need to be aware of outright scams. Like the saying goes, if it’s too good to be true…it probably is.

Going Into Debt

You might think that going out and buying all the preparedness supplies you need at once is a good idea…but it’s not. Maxing out your credit card(s) could lead to big problems down the line and leave you less prepared. If you create a prepping budget, and work within your means, you will find that in no time at all you will be more prepared than you thought possible.

Unbalanced Prepping

As we are building up our preparedness supplies we need to think about it as a time frame, not a list of supplies. Preparing for a week, then a month, then a year is better than getting food, then water, then bug out bags. If we have a years worth of food, but no water, we are not prepared at all.

Rotation/Spoilage

If we go out and spend money on supplies that have a shelf life, we want to make sure it is still good when we need to use it. Doing inventory at least a couple times a year, and storing food we actually eat will help reduce the spoilage factor.

Taking Bad Advice

Regardless what we are doing we should never take one persons advice on something. Just because something works for them, doesn’t mean it will work for you. We all know that person that has the answer for everything right? The “know it all”. No one is more invested in your future than you. Make sure you are making decisions that you are comfortable with.

Oversharing

We hear about operational security all the time. If you are on the internet, there is very little you can do to hide from the alphabet agencies, but we can control what we share with others. This also includes people we talk to in person. Make sure you trust the person you are talking to, and even then stay cautious.

Supplies & No Knowledge

There are literally hundreds of “gotta have it” prepping supplies out there, but if we don’t know how to use them they are pointless. If you own a ferro rod, make sure you know how to use it. If you want to build a solar generator, make sure you know how it works before you buy the parts.

DIY Project Fails

DIY prepping projects are a great way to learn, and might even save you money, but this is not always the case. Take the Sun Oven for example. There are many DIY versions of this, but none will work as well as the actual Sun Oven. The positive side of these DIY projects is they will teach you about alternatives if you find yourself with nothing.

Back to the Basics

We need to make sure that before we move on the the “bigger and better” aspects of preparedness that we have a good foundation to build on. Last week we talked about how if we aren’t prepared for the smaller scale disaster scenarios we aren’t prepared at all. This also hold true for basic supplies like manual can openers, batteries, crank radios etc.

Second Guessing Yourself

To a lot of people prepping is seen as “extreme” or “unnecessary” which can cause us to second guess ourselves. On the same lines of not listening to the “know it all’s” we need to trust our gut on this. As I said earlier, no one have a bigger interest in your future than you do, so do what you feel is right.

Tin Foil Hat Time

This week in the show we talked about how fragile our power grid is. Even though our government and public service companies know it, they refuse to do anything about it. This PDF from CenterForSecurity goes through what the affects of an EMP or CME would be.

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8 Basic Skills You Need To Master Before The SHTF

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You don’t have to be an expert at every survival skill to survive a disaster–very few people have mastered all the skills. However, there are a handful of skills that everyone will need in a true SHTF scenario, especially if they’re on their own. In this article from Modern Survival Online, Ryan explains what he […]

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Are You Prepared for Natural Disasters?

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Are You Prepared for Natural DisastersTalking about natural disasters is not up there with the most “sexy” or “fun” aspects of prepping, but it’s important to make sure we are prepared for these natural disasters none the less. The odds of a natural disaster or a personal doomsday happening in our lifetime are far greater than a global or national disaster scenario…although these odds are changing daily.

The basics of preparedness are the same regardless which disaster(s) you are preparing for. Preparing for these natural disasters is a great way to build your foundation, and become become better prepared for even the smallest disaster situation or personal doomsday.

The truth is, if we don’t have the basics covered, we really aren’t prepared at all. We could have the perfect bug out bag, but without an escape and evasion plan, we could be in for a tough time.

I recently published this video about 10 basic things we should have taken care of to be prepared for any disaster scenario. How many of these do you have checked off your list? If you only get 7 out of 10 you might have a little work to do.

Here are the 10 tips from the video…

  1. You have enough food stored
  2. You have cash set aside
  3. You have out of area emergency contacts
  4. You have water stored
  5. You have a plan for the family
  6. You know where you’ll go (including pets)
  7. You have a good first aid kit
  8. You have first aid training
  9. You practice for a disaster
  10. Your car is in good mechanical condition

SPP195 Are You Prepared for Natural Disasters?

In this weeks show we went over some of the basics of preparing for a natural disaster. This might all seem very simple to you (especially if you’ve been prepping for a while) but they are areas that sometimes get overlooked because they are so simple.

Sometimes what you thought was a perfect plan will not work out like you thought it would. Sometimes we get so focused on the bigger details, we forget about the small details. Having the greatest bug out vehicle that can bust through a concrete wall is worthless if it runs out of gas, or gets a flat tire.

Topics Covered In The Show…

Here are a few of the things we talked about in this weeks show. We went into quite a bit of detail with all of these, so make sure and listen.

Stay Informed

Before: A little bit of extra warning can go a long way in a disaster situation. With a hurricane or blizzard you will have plenty of warning, an earthquake or tornado is a different story. At this point you will have TV, radio and phone service…make sure you use them.

During: Some of these services might be out during a natural disaster, but a shortwave radio might still be useful. I have this Crank Radio which also has a solar panel and light.

After: A natural disaster can cause quite a bit of damage. The first thing we will want to do is make sure everyone is safe. You can register on the Red Cross website to check in as “safe and well”. You can also check in on others who might be affected, as long as they know to use the website.

Evacuation Planning

Home and Away: Evacuation planning is not just choosing a bug out route, it could mean getting out of the house in the first place. Earthquakes and tornadoes could destroy your home leaving you trapped, and in a house fire you would need to find the safest escape route.

Escape Routes: This could be anything from escaping the house, to escaping the neighborhood. Make sure everyone knows which routes to take and why. Make sure to always have a plan B, and also a plan C.

Timing Is Everything: While you would have plenty of time to prepared for a hurricane, some natural disasters won’t afford you that luxury. This is why staying informed and having supplies ready to go is important.

Destinations: It’s not only important to have your destinations picked out, it’s important that everyone is on the same page. Make sure everyone knows where you will meet, and where you will meet if that isn’t an option. This could be anything from the front yard, to a school paring lot, to a relatives home.

Include the Pets: If you own pets you are going to want to have a plan and supplies for them as well. If you need to evacuate you will need supplies for them, as well as a suitable location. If you plan on going to a relatives home, make sure they are OK with Fido coming along.

Family Disaster Planning

Contact Information: These days we don’t know peoples actual phone numbers, they are just names in our cell phone. You can make wallet sized cards with contact information, as well as important medical information. Wallet size contact cards are great for teenagers because they don’t need to remember anything other than where it is when they need it.

Important Websites: You should also add important websites to these cards, the SafeAndWell website I linked to above is one of them. While the internet might be down during the natural disaster, it could be available in the future. It could also be available in other areas.

If You’re Separated: The entire family is rarely in the same place all the time. Parents go to works, kids go to school, and a disaster is not going to wait until we are ready. This is why having pre planned meeting points and contact information is so important. If we know that they know, it can make an already stressful situation a little more bearable.

Money on Hand: In a natural disaster scenario money will not be useless, but ATM’s might. Everyone should carry some emergency cash in their wallet for event’s like this. This could be $100 in small bills, or whatever you can afford.

Practice Your Plans: Having these plans is only the first step. The more important step is making sure everyone understands these plans and is on the same page. The family might not take this as serious as you, but when the time comes they will remember.

Around the House: During or after a natural disaster there are some safety precautions we need to make sure everyone understands. Make sure everyone knows where the breaker box is (and how to shut if off) and where the gas shutoff is. Make sure a bad situation doesn’t get worse by something that could have been avoided.

Survival Skills

The Basics: Making sure the family knows survival skills doesn’t mean they need to know how to use a ferro rod to start a fire, but do they know how to use a fire extinguisher? Do they know what to do during a house fire? Or do they know the basics of first aid.

And Then Some: While we might not be able to get the whole family on board with the more advanced survival skills like trauma care, CPR  or bugging out, they are important to learn. We never know what situation might present itself, so the more we know, the better our odds will be.

Disaster Supplies

3 Days Minimum: FEMA recommends that we have 3 days worth of food and water stored. As preppers, if we only have 3 days worth of supplies, we think we are severely slacking.  In the event of a natural disaster 3 days is probably OK, but I feel much better knowing I’m covered if day 4 or 5 rolls around.

Staying or Going?: Having 3 days worth of supplies doesn’t just mean around the house. If we find ourselves in a situation where we need to leave, we need to have some of these supplies ready to go. This means food, water, bug out bags, and other supplies.

The Right Tools For the Job: The supplies you need will depend on the natural disaster you are preparing for. While the basic survival supplies like food water and first aid might be the same, some tools will be specific to the disaster. A pry bar or a pick ax might be useful after an earthquake, they might not be during a blizzard.

This is just a general list that would cover a number of disaster scenarios. Make sure you have these covered, and then refine this list depending on which natural disaster scenario you are concerned about. If you have any ideas or thoughts, let me know in the comments below…

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Large and Small Scale Escape & Evasion Tactics for Preppers

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Large and Small Scale Escape & Evasion Tactics for PreppersAs preppers, when we think about escape and evasion tactics we immediately think about the worst-case scenario. We think about escaping a war zone cause by civil unrest, and evading large numbers of marauders looking to steal our supplies and do us harm.

While this is possible, and extremely important to plan for, not every scenario is a worst-case scenario. Understanding escape and evasion tactics could be beneficial in a wide number of disaster scenarios including natural disasters.

Escape and evasion is much more than slapping on some camouflage and acting like a Navy Seal. Escape and evasion is also about more than counter tracking and escaping zip ties, it’s about everything we do on a daily basis to stay out of situations where escape would become necessary.

SPP194 Escape & Evasion Tactics for Preppers

This week in the show we talked about escape and evasion tactic for preppers, and how they apply in a number of different disaster scenarios. Some of these techniques also apply to what we do in our everyday lives.

Blending In

Blending into your environment and becoming “the gray man” is about how you look, how you act, and what you say. If you live in an urban area you don’t want to be wearing cammo and carrying a tactical backpack or bug out bag. If you live in a rural area you wouldn’t want to be wearing a 3-piece suit and carrying suitcase. Fitting in means looking and acting just like everyone else. It means being unremarkable in every way.

Regardless whether you are talking about a large scale civil unrest scenario or just discussing preparedness with friends, what you say will have repercussions. Being the gray man means not showing your cards until you are absolutely sure the time is right.

Trust No One

This might sound a little harsh, but we need to treat everyone is a potential enemy. This doesn’t mean board up the windows and shoot anyone who comes to the door, we just need to be on high alert with everyone we encounter. People without food become very dangerous, and even the most well-intentioned person will do what it takes to survive.

Even during small scale natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina we have seen this happen. People for the most part will try to come together and help each other, but all it takes is a few people looking to take advantage to ruin your plans.

Situational Awareness

You might not think about situational awareness when you think about escape and evasion, but it could be one of it’s most important aspects. We need to constantly be aware of the actions of others, as well as how our own actions might put us at risk.

Using the acronym S.U.R.V.I.V.A.L. in a crisis situation is a great way to remind yourself what is important and to stay focused. We need to make sure that when we are traveling we are not leaving a trail, not easily followed and not an easy target. To do this we need to be on high alert, and aware of the situation around us.

Tracking & Counter Tracking

The most important part of escape and evasion is making sure you do it unnoticed. This not only includes being the gray man and situational awareness, it means not leaving a trail for someone to follow. If you are a hunter, you might know quite a bit about tracking animals, and the same principals apply to humans.

Counter tracking is simply understanding what kind of signals humans might leave, and not leaving them. There is quite a bit that goes into tracking and counter tracking, but the great thing is it’s easy to learn…and it’s free. We can learn just about anything on YouTube these days, and Black Scout Survival has a good series on escape and evasion.

Using something like the Sneek Boot will make it harder for someone to follow your footprints, but we also need to make sure we are not leaving other signals like trash or disturbing the surrounding area.

Navigation

Not every scenario involves hiking through the woods to your bug out location, but navigation and map reading is important none the less. Regardless where we live, escaping or evading will mean traveling in secluded areas in hopes to avoid people. It doesn’t matter if you are in an urban area, or a rural area, losing your direction, or making a wrong turn is easier than you think.

Having maps of your area, and knowing how to read them could literally be the difference between life and death. Most of us could make it home from work without using a map, but would it be the safest route? It’s much safer to take 30 seconds and plan a route, than to turn a corner and find yourself face to face with someone wanting to do you harm.

The Best Bug Out Vehicle

Instead of thinking about a bug out vehicle as the biggest baddest vehicle that can bust through walls and road blocks, we should think about the type of vehicle necessary for the job. The safest route might be going discreetly around a road block rather than through it. If you find yourself stuck in an urban area, which is better a bicycle? or an RV?

The truth is, the best bug out vehicle is the one you have now. It’s fun to think about these big bad bug out vehicles, but we should make sure our car is maintained and reliable.

Any bug out vehicle is only as good as the supplies and tools that are in it, this includes your everyday carry items. Having the tools to fix a flat tire or tighten a hose could be the difference between driving somewhere and hoofing it.

Planning

Planning is not only important before a crisis situation, it’s also important during a crisis. In order to execute a bug out plan properly we need to learn about escape and evasion and practice it. Bugging out should not just be grabbing your go bag and walking. The more we know about escape and evasion tactics, the better our chances will be.

This is also important during smaller scale disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes and wild fires.  Evasion could mean getting to higher ground, or even helping someone who has been trapped under rubble to escape.  As I said earlier, escape and evasion is about much more than hiding from, or escaping from would be kidnappers.

Organization in Groups

If something were to happen while we were at work, we might not be heading out alone. While we all have a group of coworkers we just can’t stand, there are probably a few you couldn’t leave behind. In a situation like this, you would need to be the leader. Most people have no idea what to do in an emergency other than panic.

This will also make traveling discreetly and hiding your tracks a little more challenging. On the flip side, it will also increase your security because you have more hands, and more eyeballs. Just remember, you’ll have to do some training on the fly, but your friends will be glad you are one of those “crazy Preppers” at this point.

Links From the Show…

I mentioned the Army Tracking Manual in the podcast that has some tips on escape and evasion. Here is the link to that download.

In the beginning of the show I mentioned the new podcast “The Prepper Website Podcast” This is available at iTunes, Stitcher or any of your favorite podcasting apps.

As many of you know we have been selling the Blaze Charcoal Bricks which are available on Amazon. I also have a few 50% off coupon codes for anyone who is interested. If you would like one of these coupon codes just email me here and I’ll let you know if they are still available.

 

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The Difference Between Urban and Rural Prepping

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The Difference Between Urban and Rural PreppingFor most preppers, their dream scenario would include something like a Doomsday Castle or a massive underground living facility. Unfortunately, reality always seems to get in the way, and we must figure out an alternative. So what is the difference between urban and rural prepping?

While it’s true, your chances of survival increase the further away from people you are, but that’s not an option for most people. In fact, some people have no desire to head out to the middle of nowhere.

With that being said, this article is not about which is better, but rather what the differences between rural and urban prepping are.

There is a lot more that goes into moving to a rural area than buying some property and packing the U-Haul truck. There is quite a bit of freedom that comes with living in a rural area, but there is also quite a bit of responsibility. In an urban area, everything is within walking distance and readily available. In a rural area, you need to plan ahead or figure out alternatives.

SPP192 The Difference Between Urban and Rural Prepping

In today’s show, we talked about how your prepping will be different depending on where you live. An urban area will require different supplies and plans than Rural prepping, and a suburban area is a little bit of each.

Picking the Right Prepping Supplies

The supplies you need will be different depending on where you live. In an urban environment you might need something like the Ontario SPAX Tool, a Pry Bar or a Lock Picking Set. In a rural environment bushcraft skills, storing fuel and larger amounts of food and water will be a priority.

In a suburban environment, you will have the best, and worst of both worlds. Because you sit right between urban and rural, and have more storage space, both situations could apply to you. Here is a good video that goes over the differences in prepping supplies for urban and rural.

Urban VS Rural Preparedness

This list is some of the important differences when it comes to urban and rural prepping. Keep in mind, a suburban area could require you to think about all these different areas of preparedness. Your living situation, family size and location will dictate what you need to become better prepared.

Urban: Most people chose to live in or near the city because you are closer to work, and closer to infrastructure. Finances also play a big role.
Rural: Living out in the boonies takes a commitment because EVERYTHING is far away. The trade off is freedom and less people.

 

Urban: In (or near) the city, events like Martial Law and civil unrest are more immediate. You will need to be on high alert, and react quickly.
Rural: In an urban area civil unrest might not be as immediate. Although unlikely, the golden hoard might be headed your way.

 

Urban: In high population areas there are more people. More people = more potential problems. It would be easy to become caught in the middle of something you never saw coming.
Rural: While there are less people, and less potential problems, you might be on your Own. This could be a good or a bad thing depending on the situation.

 

Urban: In the city people are more dependent on Infrastructure. While this is OK now, in a SHTF event there will be more competition and lawlessness.
Rural: In a rural area and some suburbs, there is less infrastructure to utilize. Planning ahead and storing supplies is critical for survival.

 

Urban: Because there are more people, news will travel faster by word of mouth. Be careful about what is really news, and what is rumor.
Rural: In a rural area you might only have a handful of neighbors, and they could be miles apart. The news you do get is more likely to be true though.

 

Urban: With the more people there are in an area, there is an increased risk of disease. This is especially true in a large scale disaster.
Rural: The downside of living in a rural area is there might be less medical help available, and help is further away.

 

Urban: With limited space, storing preparedness supplies is much harder. This requires thinking outside the box a little bit.
Rural: If you live in the middle of nowhere, you will have more room so store supplies, but you also have more property to protect.

 

Urban: In high population areas, bugging out should be a priority. Getting away from people and potential problems could be the difference between life and death.
Rural: If you live in a rural area you are already bugged out, so bugging in should be a priority, especially if you work or travel in or to the city.

 

Urban: In an urban area, clean drinking water could be hard to find. Drinking from a city river could be deadly, but there are ways to find clean water in the city.
Rural: In a rural environment you will need to depend more on mother natures resources, and less on man made resources. 

 

This is just a few of the differences when it comes to rural and urban prepping. Your situation will dictate which of these apply to you, and how you should prepare. This is not to say that people in an urban area don’t need to worry about Martial Law, it just means we need to prioritize the threats we might face.

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What is Prepping? Some Common Misconception’s

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What is Prepping Some Common Misconception’s

NOTE: For anyone who might be reading this that is wondering what prepping really is, this article will explain a few things about who we really are. If all you have heard about prepping is from television and shows like Doomsday Preppers, you might think we are all over the top conspiracy theorists hiding in our bunkers.

The truth is, most of us would never make it on that show (or want to) because we are far too boring. Most of us are just like you, average everyday people, we just choose to prepare for unforeseen events.

What is Prepping…Really

Instead of explaining what prepping really is, it might be better to explain what prepping isn’t. There are quite a few misconceptions out there, and because television networks need rating, they make the most extreme cases seem mainstream.

Everyone is Different

Not everyone who is interested in preparedness is the same. Some of us are business men and women, some are doctors, lawyers or factory workers. The majority of us don’t live in the middle of nowhere, doing shooting drills with our AR15’s, wearing full tactical gear…although some of us wish we could.

We are Not “Scared”

There is a different between being afraid, and being fearful. We prepare because we fear something could happen, and we want to be confident we can protect our family and ourselves if it does.

We Don’t Hope For a Disaster

The truth is, most of us hope nothing like this ever happens, and we hope we never have to use what we have in that type of situation. Prepping is about much more than beans and rice.

Conspiracy Theory Isn’t Prepping

While there is no shortage of conspiracy theorist involved in prepping (my wife included) That isn’t (or shouldn’t be) the main reason for becoming prepared. It’s also important not to disregard everything as conspiracy theory just because the mainstream media tells you it is.

Fear Based Marketing

This type of marketing really gives preppers a bad name. This type of marketing preys on your fears, and makes you think the world is going to end tomorrow unless you buy their product. If you ever run across something like this, do yourself a favor and run. I have a guide that is ABSOLUTELY FREE, and has more information than these.

The Different Types of Prepping

Another misconception about prepping is that all preppers have a house full of supplies, and we are all preparing for the world to end. The truth is, everyone prepares for different event, and stores different supplies. Some people prepare for natural disaster, some for larger scale disasters, and some just want a little extra food and water just in case.

FEMA on Steroids

The only difference between preppers and some of these federal organizations is that we take emergency preparedness to the next level. Having food and water stored for 3 days is great, but some disaster scenarios call for more than that.

SPP191 What is Prepping? Some Common Misconception’s

In this weeks Survivalist Prepper Show, Lisa and I talked about some misconceptions about prepping, and how we are not all the same. We also talked about if there are some things we could be overreacting to a bit, and even whether or not stashing cash is a good idea.

Are We Overreacting

Is a “Mad Max” scenario possible in America? Although unlikely, in extreme cases it could be. The power grid going down could set us back 100 years, and reduce the population by 90%. With that being said,  we are a developed country, and would begin to rebuild fairly quickly.

The average person might think that preppers are overreacting because most people are reactionary, most people wait until something bad happens before they act. Preppers are proactive and plan in advance because we see how bad things are getting. This doesn’t just include nuclear bombs and terrorist attacks, this includes the economy, personal finances, natural disasters and  planning for a better future.

In short, I think sometimes we do overreact, but for good reason. I would rather overreact and be wrong, than not prepare at all and be wrong.

Also From the Show…

During this weeks podcast we also talked about avoiding prepper burnout and whether stashing cash is a good idea or not.

Prepper Burnout: At one point or another we are all going to go through this, and how we handle this is crucial.  There are quite a few ways to handle prepper burnout, but the easiest way is to avoid it in the first place. I have an all or nothing personality, I tend to keep going until my gas tank is empty…I’m learning to pace myself a little better.

Sometimes money gets in the way, and sometimes life gets in the way. Learning new skills is free, and focusing on hobbies we enjoy will help get that fire burning again. At times it can seem like we have so much to do and no time to do it, but sometimes we need to give ourselves a break.

Stashing Cash: One question I hear quite a bit in the preparedness community is whether or not to keep your money in the bank. I think there are 2 sides to this coin. The money we have in the bank could disappear instantly because of hackers or an economic collapse. On the other hand stashing cash at home could make us a target.

I’m not sure if there is a “right” answer to this because they both pose a risk, but this thread from the SurvivalistBoards forum will give you some idea’s if you decide to stash some cash.

The Giveaway is Ending Soon!

There is only one week left to get your entries into the Survivalist Prepper Giveaway. We have some great prizes this month, and you can enter here. Watch the video below and see what we are giving away this month…

The post What is Prepping? Some Common Misconception’s appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.

Tips for Successfully Bugging In

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Tips for Successfully Bugging InWe hear all the time about bugging out and what we should have in our bug out bags. The reality is none of us want to leave all the prepping supplies we have behind, and limit ourselves to what we can carry on our backs. This week we talked about tips for successfully bugging in, and not having to leave everything we own behind.

For most of us it would take quite a lot for us to actually leave the comfort of our homes. For most of us it would laterally have to be a life or death situation. There are however precautions we must consider to successfully bug in, and steps we need to take to keep ourselves as safe as possible.

SPP187 Tips for Successfully Bugging In

This week in the show Lisa and I talked about some reasons why we would want to bug in, some reasons why we might still need to bug out, and some things we need to consider regardless what decisions we make.

Here are a few of the talking points we discussed in the show this week…

Why you would want to bug in: Here is an article from ThePrepperJournal that goes over some reasons why bugging out might not be your best option.

Planning: Getting everyone home might be the biggest challenge you face, especially if someone is 500 miles away. These people that will be traveling long distances need to understand things like leaving at the right time, safely traveling, no gps, sleeping on the road etc.

Out of Our Hands: All we can do is try to teach them about bugging in now, because you will be dependent on them to make the decisions at that point. We will be completely in the dark, and hoping everything is going ok with the people traveling to us.

Plan B: Bug Out Location If something is bad enough you need to bug in, eventually having to bug out is a very real possibility. Depending on the disaster scenario, things can change very quickly, and we need to be ready to react.

Bug Out Alternatives: This doesn’t have to be the typical “BOL” we all think about, it can be friends or family’s homes, or these could also be “pit stops” you take along the way to a predetermined location.

Bugging in Viability: Make sure you have the right amount of supplies for a determined amount of time. Make sure you have the ability to defend what you have from people looking to take advantage of you.

Survival files: For those people who just don’t want to hear about prepping you could dd PDF’s to their phones that have travel direction’s, alternative routes, Survival guides or anything pertinent. Hopefully they would never have to look at these, but they would be a lifesaver in a bugging in situation.

Close to Home: Your neighbors will be freaking out, how will you handle that? If you become a recluse they will become curious, if you are too open with them you might become a target. This is a tough situation, but one that we will all be in.

Everyone on the Same Page: In a Bug in situation you will need to start the planning discussions right off the bat. We might understand what needs to happen, but we need to make sure everyone else understands as well. Questions like “What we do when” or “What if” need to be discussed.

Sanitation: Cleanliness and hygiene are not going to be as easy to tackle as they are today, and the doctors won’t be around if we do get sick. Make sure and have the supplies needed for sanitation, and make sure everyone understands the new rules.

Communications: In a complete grid down scenario long range radio might not be an option, but radios for short range communications like 2 way radios or Ham radios are a good idea to have. If someone needs to do reconnaissance, or go out scouting, you want to be able to contact them if needed.

Home Defense:  If we choose to bug in, defending our property and supplies will be just as important as having them in the first place. This is another reason why having a group is better than going it alone. No one can do everything, and having a few more sets of eyes and hands will only increase your preparedness level.

A Good Prepping Library:  They might not be listening to your prepping plans today, but they will be all ears is something bad happens. A good prepping library will help you when you are trying to teach them about that needs to be done.

Entertainment Items: Keeping everyone as happy as possible is going to be more important than we think. Not only is moral important, but too much down time and boredom can lead to lack of focus and mistakes. Music, games and books are also a way for people to escape from reality, even for just a little bit.

 

 

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When the Going Gets Tough the Tough Get Going

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When the Going Gets Tough the Tough Get GoingThe Following is a Sponsored Post:

With so much going on in the world at the moment, there is no wonder the survivalist movement is growing by leaps and bounds. A huge number of people are buying land way out in the wilderness and setting it up so that in the event of some kind of national ‘event,’ they would have somewhere safe to call home without being in the thick of things. As the old saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

And, going they are – all the way out where the nearest neighbour is miles away! With so much stress and chaos in our lives, it’s a wonder we can live in any kind of semblance of normality, and also a wonder why there aren’t more licensed social workers with an online social work masters focused on helping communities face the impending threat of riots and perhaps even Marshall Law!

What Could a Social Worker Do in Times Like These?

While you know it’s important to plan for the best and prepare for the worst, sometimes that’s easier said than done. Consider all the riots that broke out after the most recent presidential election. Also, remember the protests that erupted at Donald Trump’s campaign rallies. There is so much political unrest throughout the nation that people are living in very real fears that a civil war will ensue.

It probably isn’t going to happen, but this is just the kind of ‘fear’ that those studying in online MSW programs from schools such as Rutgers Online learn to help people cope with. There is nothing wrong with healthy fear, but it’s how you handle it that counts. Preparing a getaway in remote locations isn’t unreasonable, but to build walls and arsenals might be a bit overboard by some people’s standards! A social worker could help you work through both reasonable and unreasonable fears and that’s a very good reason to get that degree!

What If the Nation Does Go into a State of High Alert?

For years, everyone called those of us who are now known as ‘preppers’ a bit odd. They didn’t realize that what we were preparing for was real and that we had researched facts that led us to the conclusion that there was every possibility that riots, terrorism and even civil unrest within our own communities could threaten the safety we’ve always felt at home. With those of us within our communities who have gone the extra mile to study for that online masters in social work, we can help each other ‘plan for the best, prepare for the worst’ and get through it, one day at a time.

No, preppers aren’t crazy nor are those who seek a bit of counselling to mitigate their fears. They are realistic people who have seen another side of things that some choose to ignore. How you deal with these fears is important. Refusing to deal with them is even unhealthier than dealing with something others refuse to see. Are you a prepper? Join the crowd!

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Storage Problems & Solutions for Preppers

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Storage Problems and Solutions for PreppersWhen it comes to prepping, the longer you do it, the more supplies and food storage you are going to have. We wanted to do the show this week on storage problems & solutions for peppers this week because accumulating all this stuff is the easy part, making sure it doesn’t expire is a little harder. 

Depending on who you are, one of the hardest things to do (correctly anyway) is keeping everything organized. Food get’s lost in the back of the cabinet, and supplies seem to run off, and not be where you remember leaving them.

If you have been building up your supplies and food storage for a year or more, you know how easy it is to become disorganized and over whelmed. If you are one of the OCD type people, lucky you! I am not that lucky though…but I do try. With that being said, there are some things I do like inventory and rotation that force me to be a little more OCD.

SPp185 Storage Problems & Solutions for Preppers

In this weeks show Lisa and I talked about quite a few storage problems preppers face, as well as some solutions for our storage problems. We talked about some supplies that have long shelf lives, proper storage conditions, life without refrigeration and much more.

Storage Ideas

Shelving Units:  If you are renting an apartment or plan on moving, building a shelving unit might not be your best option. There are quite a few options available if you need something more temporary or movable storage options.

Using Space Wisely: Storing large amounts in small places can be a challenge. Another challenge with this is that if you stuff your closet full, it’s going to be a SHTF event in itself just getting to what you need.

Your Spouse: Keeping the spouse happy is one of the most important parts about storage…especially if they are not on board with prepping. You might think that you have everything set up perfectly, but if they don’t it really doesn’t matter.

Organization: Filling your pantry can be an invitation for chaos. Mention Lisa’s step stool and other ideas. Side shelf refrigerator

Remove it: One thing I am really bad at (because it feels like throwing away money) is throwing out expired food. Don’t be afraid to throw stuff out or use it. If you are never going to use it, you might as well throw it out to free up space, and do a better job on rotation next time around.

Long Term Foods: For people who don’t have a lot of room, or people who just don’t want to deal with the challenges that come with food storage, long term food is also an option. We sell Legacy Food Storage products at the SHTFShop.com. These are easy to store and offer a 25 year shelf life.

Refrigerator Foods

Wasting Money: If you have no way of keeping your refrigerator running during a power outage, don’t waste your money filling your freezer with steak and chicken. Instead, learn skills like canning and dehydrating. Focus on alternatives to refrigeration.

Stable Foods: Some refrigerator foods have a very long shelf life when refrigerated. Garlic, salad dressings, yeast, condiments etc. can all last a year or longer. This is great for food storage reasons, but without refrigeration the number drops to zero.

Pre Refrigeration Storage: Some of these same refrigerator foods don’t need refrigeration until they are opened. If you use a lot of ketchup, go ahead and stock up, but once it’s opened the clock starts ticking faster. Also pay attention to where the grocery store puts it. Velveeta, salad dressings and mayonnaise all go on shelves, not in the refrigerated section.

Unleash your inner OCD

Treat Your House Like a Grocery Store: we know that grocery stores carry a limited stock because in order to reduce costs they need to sell products quickly. FIFO (first in, first out) is the method they use to go through inventory the way it came in. A store only buys what it thinks it can sell, so store what you eat proportional to how often you eat it.

Warehousing: Shelving units (storage areas) is like a stores warehouse, and your pantry is like stocking the front of the store. Once your food hits the pantry it should gets used or thrown away. It’s much easier to restock a storage area where everything is more organized, than a pantry where things can get moved around.

Everything Has a Home: I have a major problem with this, and I know I’m not alone. Remember to put things back when your done with them. Having a bunch of flashlights is great, but if you can’t find the batteries they are useless. Make sure everyone else in the house understands this too!

Storage Ideas: Keeping everything in one place will make your life a lot easier. Plastic storage totes (or similar storage systems) will help you to organize supplies. I use these for my power outage supplies, and other prepping supplies that I want to keep in the same place.

Know What you Have: It’s important to do a detailed inventory at least twice a year, and a less detailed inventory monthly if possible. The smaller inventory will help with your shopping lists, and the larger (detailed) one will reduce waste from expired food. Here are a few lists that will help with your inventory and rotation of you prepping supplies. 

Don’t Set it and Forget it

Nothing Lasts Forever: Some supplies will last for years, like batteries or even water. These supplies pose a challenge because we have a tendency to “set it and forget it”. Water might last forever, but  the container you put it in won’t. Rechargeable batteries have a long shelf life, but will slowly lose their charge over time. Keep these supplies in mind when you do your bi yearly inventory.

Follow the Rules:  Most people don’t pay a lot of attention to how they store supplies, but as preppers we are always trying to maximize shelf life…and then some. Pay attention to best storage practices on each of these products to get the most out of them.

The New Blaze Charcoal Grill

As I mentioned in the podcast, Expedition Research and I have teamed up on an off the grid and camping cooking option for preppers. There are quite a few options available when it comes to off the grid cooking, and this charcoal grill isn’t meant to be a replacement, it’s a way to add another cooking option.

Here is a short review video on the grill, and then I’ll be doing a few videos in the near future that are more in depth about how this works, and why it is a great option for off the grid cooking.

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Bushcraft Basics for Preppers

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Bushcraft Basics for PreppersPrepping is made up of many different aspects of life, and Bushcraft is one of them. You don’t need to be a Navy Seal to understand tactics and defense. You don’t need to be the CEO of a fortune 500 company to invest in gold and silver, and you don’t need to 30 days in the wild to understand Bushcraft.

As preppers all we need to do is take the advice from people who have done these things, and incorporate them into our prepping plans as we see fit. Today in the show I talked to Shawn who does take Bushcraft seriously, and he talked about the aspects of wilderness survival that are important to preppers.

SPP184 Bushcraft Basics for Preppers

In this show we tried to cover as many topics as possible, and it’s pretty hard to do. This show is general information about Bushcraft for preppers. We plan on digging deeper into these topics and how Bushcraft applies to the 5 areas of preparedness in the future.

Here are some notes that Shawn put together for the show this week. If you do have any questions or comments, just leave them at the end of this article.

What is Bushcraft?

Definition of Bushcraft by Horace Kephart

– The Art of Getting along well in the wilderness by utilizing natures storehouse. –

“A good woodsman must be able to- enter the wilderness, with no outfit other than what’s carried by horse, canoe, or his back, and find his way without man made marks to guide him; they must know the habits and properties of trees and plants, the ways of catching and dressing fish and game, and cooking them over a fire. They must know how to build adequate shelter against wind and rain, and keep himself warm through the bitter nights of winter.”

Water Safety

  • Water borne bacteria in North America, Ghardia & Cryptosporidium.
  • CDC recommends filtering water first, then boiling for decontamination.
  • Iodine, & Chlorine dioxide tablets/drops: These are useful, but not for long term. The recommendation is no more than 3 weeks. May be resisted by Cryptosporidium and are unsafe for pregnant women.
  • Most chemical measurements are based on 32 oz., Mark a dimple large metal bottles.
  • UV steri-pens not worth using long term, batteries are not reliable.
  • Charcoal & Ceramic Filters by themselves are useful in time sensitive situations (bugging out), but no filter is 100%. Filters like the Sawyer and life straw are far better than a field expedient water filter.
  • Boiling should always be used as primary method when possible, kills 100% of pathogens.
  • Distilling water systems remove Lead, Arsenic, other metal substances, but are high energy, or slow/minimal effectiveness when using The Sun.
  • Contact Time: CDC recommends boiling water for 1 min. to kill pathogens. 3 min. Above 2000m (6,562ft)
  • Use metal containers, for water boiling and other uses (char material, medicine, cooking food). Plastic is not recommended.
  • When no metal is container available, water can be boiled using a wood container, and hot stones.

Medicine & Edibles (Pine)

  • North America holds 46 Species in 5 genera, very widespread and common throughout the States. Pine trees are one of most versatile and useful trees/plants.
  • Best Pine to use is soft pine or white pine.
  • An easy trick to identify White Pine is the needles. These pine trees have 4 or 5 needles together in one bundle, all others have 1, 2 or 3.
  • Ponderosa, Lodgepole and Monterey pine are known to be harmful to livestock. Yew tree can be deadly to humans.
  • Different parts of the pine can be used as an Antiseptic, Expectorant (Respiratory), Antifungal, Drawing properties (splinters), Vitamin C, Vitamin A.
  • Pine needles can be used for making Tea, weaving baskets and fire tinder.
  • Pine nuts edible on all pine species. Pine nuts are easier to find if the pine cone has not opened yet.
  • Inner bark of the pine can be used for baskets, band-aid and even  fried & eaten like pine potato chips.
  • The sap from the pine can be as a glue (sap+charcoal), directly on cuts/burns/blisters, as a salve (sap+beeswax+oils), Bug Repellent (sap+castor oil+tea tree oil), and even a temporary tooth filling.
  • The boughs can be used as roof shingles for shelter or bedding.
  • Fatwood is an outdoorsmans best friend. It can be used as tinder or kindling, and makes starting a fire much easier. Here is an article that explains fatwood and shows some examples.
  • The wood itself can be used for shelter, fire, tool handles, log splitting wedges.

5 Must Have Tools

In the show I asked Shawn what tools he considers a must have. He also mentioned how you should conserve your tools as much as possible. Try to use other resources whenever you can. You can also keep your tools oiled with cooking oil, and try to keep your tools sharp. A sharp knife is much safer than a dull knife.

Axe/ Hatchet: primary tool for Processing firewood, planks, shelter, wood carving, field dressing wild game and other common cutting tasks. You will want it to have an 18″-20 handle minimum, 26-28″ for large axe. Use Wedges whenever possible to extend the lifespan of your axe.

Belt Knife: primary use is skinning, cutting meat, prepping food. Secondary use is cutting sticks & Fine carving, processing smaller size wood. The blade should be about 5 or 6″ long, high carbon steel, full tang, no exaggerated point needed, sharp 90 angle usually on spine for fire and wood shavings, 1/8″ or 3/16 thick.

Jack Knife/ Carving Knife: This could be a Folding knife, or multitool with good blade that you always have in your pocket. Frontiersman used folding knife as primary whittling knife, but a separate knife specific to woodcarving is great to have. Mora makes excellent knives for carving. Can be stainless, but still prefer carbon because they hold their edge better.

Saw: These are safer and easier than axe and are an essential tool, especially in winter. I prefer metal bowsaw for camp with interchangeable blades. A wood bucksaw can be made. Some people also prefer the folding saws for on the trail like the silky or Bahco. Here is a comparison of 3 folding saw and how well they work.

Sewing Awl/ Scratch Awl/ Crooked Awl: High traded items in frontier times. Useful for drilling and poking holes in bark, canvas, leather, clothing. Needles and thread are hard to remake in the wild, so always have some with you. Speedy stitcher, extra needles and thread, sail needles, and a steel crooked awl.

The Basics of Shelter

  • Shelters should be set up in places with adequate drainage to avoid flooding, near water, have wind protection, have fire material nearby. Shelters can be made from dead branches and even entire trees around you.
  • A shelter is anything that keeps you warm and dry. A coat can be considered shelter because it protects you from the elements.
  • The materials available to you fro building a shelter depends on the season and where you live.
  • Shelter isn’t just the materials you find in the wild. You can use hammocks, tents, tarps and bivys along with wood shelters
  • Sleep and comfort is the most neglected aspect of shelter building.  Getting a good nights sleep is essential for endurance and energy. You could use your bug out bag as a pillow, and find some materials to make bedding.
  • There are many different types of shelters. A “lean to” shelter is good for warm nights, and an “A frame or debris hut” shelter is good for cold or stormy nights.
  • Tarp Shelters usually require hand made stakes, toggles, and rope to construct. If you carry a tarp with you, you need to know how to set up a tarp shelter. Also think about which water proofing methods are possible.
  • Just a side note, frontiersman would have frowned on modern tents. they liked the open air, and fire beside them.

The Basics of Fire

There are many ways to get a fire started including a sun glass, flint & steel, a ferro rod, a mag bar and even a Bic Lighter.

Try to use your most precious resource last. This meas that if you have a Bic lighter, try to get your fire started with a ferro rod, and save that fuel for later when it might be crucial.

Sun Glass: This can be eye glasses, compass, camera lens, frenzel lense or a magnifying glass. This can be a tough way to start a fire and requires direct sunlight.

Flint & Steel: This could be a specific kit you have, a knife or any high carbon steel used with Quartz or Flint. works well with dry birds nest & char cloth or fatwood shavings. (see below)

Ferro Rod: Using a ferro rod takes practice. It should take 2 or 3 strikes as a goal to get a spark to catch. use the ferro rod with a separate striker or sharp 90 degree edge on back (spine) of knife or other piece of carbon steel. use dry birds nest,  char cloth, fatwood or charcoal from punk wood to make this method easier.

Lighter: A full size Bic cant be beat, it’s easy to use, easy to store and when all else fails you’ll be glad you have it. You’ll want to know other methods of starting a fire, but always have a Bic (not a cheap lighter) with you just in case.

Materials for Easy(r) Fire Starting

Fatwood: This is from the resin collecting part of tree. It is a darker orange color, very flammable and smells like turpentine or pine sol. Collect whenever possible to use in the future. Use shavings as tinder, and sticks as kindling. Found in lower branch crooks, root balls, and dead stumps. watch for stumps as wasp nests.

Punk Wood: Dead & rotten part of tree. Works best when feels spongy and will compress between fingers, but it doesn’t crumble apart. Can be used just like char cloth to make char coal, even works well as is.

Char Cloth: To make char cloth you need some100% cotton material. The way it works is you put the char cloth in a tin and starve it of oxygen. Then you cook it until smoke stops coming from the tin. I did this video to explain more about how char cloth works.

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How People Will Become the X Factor in a Crisis

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How People Will Become the X Factor in a CrisisThere is a lot of debate in the preparedness community about how people will react in any sort of SHTF scenario or crisis. This week we talked about how people will become the X factor in a crisis, and how people can either make a bad situation even worse, or a little better.

You have no doubt heard the scenario where a woman and her children come to the door asking for food, while her husband is hiding around the corner waiting in ambush. While this situation is certainly possible, we need to take into consideration other situations that aren’t so obvious.

People as a whole are pretty predictable, and these disaster scenarios are also fairly predictable. Things get a little more complicated when you start to look at these events and how people will react on a smaller scale, or an individual level.

SPP183 How People Will Become the X Factor in a Crisis

In this week’s show Lisa and I went over some things to look for and expect with people in any sort of disaster situation, and even events that are not large scale “Mad Max” type situations. As we see on Black Friday every year, it doesn’t take much for people to lose their minds…especially when there is a group of them.

We also wanted to make the point this week that it’s not always about people reacting badly. People will create communities and look for support because people need people. It is our responsibility to figure out who might be an asset to our situation, and who might be a threat to our survival.

Leaders, Followers & Turds

People can be boiled down to 3 categories. Some are leaders, some are followers and some are just plain turds. While all of us probably have a little of each of these quality’s is us, the majority of our character is made up of one of these.

Leaders: We all have the ability to be a leader in us, it’s just that some of us are more reluctant than others. It’s also important to remember that being a leader doesn’t mean being a good guy, a turd can be a leader as well. But as the saying goes “A polished turd is still a turd”

A good leader is usually someone with a high moral compass, and someone who is looking out for everyone in the group. A good leader is also a good listener and makes decisions based on what’s good for the group, not personal gain.

Followers: Being a follower can be either good or bad. On the bad side are the sheeple, and there are far more sheeple than there are leaders and turds. Sheeple will follow blindly based on what a leader says and not question anything they do.

As a prepper it’s ok to be more of a follower than a leader, as long as we don’t become one of the sheep. Some people would rather be part of the team, than lead the team. A team member might be a better term for this type of person because there will be a greater need for team members than leaders.

Turds: These are the people we need to look out for. These are the people with no moral structure whatsoever, and who will make decisions based on their needs, regardless who gets caught in the crossfire.

Turds are the criminals, the looters during riots and anyone looking for an opportunity to take advantage of the weak. Unfortunately, most of these people believe they are “leaders” because when the rules don’t apply, you can do or say anything. This type of leader preys on the follower.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

In the show this week we talked about how the rules will change in any sort of disaster or survival situation. Decisions we make today while everything is “normal” will be far different than decisions made your life is on the line.

Here are a few of the other topics we covered in the Survivalist Prepper Podcast this week…

– People might be forced to make decisions they wouldn’t make today. When a situation is life or death, a person will easily rationalize stealing and even killing if it means their survival.

– The rules for ethics and morality will change. In general, people are followers and will do what society deems correct. In a disaster situation, people (including us) will have to live by a different set of rules. As preppers we wouldn’t need to lie, cheat and steal, but some people would…most people would.

– We always think about how others will react, but what about us and our family? We will have to make decisions and live with the consequences. Whether we choose to turn someone away, or let them in, there will be consequences.

– People need people, and people will seek support groups. These support groups could be good or bad depending on how and why they were formed. If a bad group of people are able to provide what someone needs to survive, some people might join them. The same holds true for the good guys. A community of people is safer and more productive than the lone wolf.

– One of the most dangerous parts of any disaster (large or small) is the mob mentality. It seems like the more people you put together, the less brain cells there are. This is yet another example of how people are followers, and will follow the herd rather than make their own decisions.

– One thing we tend to overlook is teens and young adults. People in their late teens and early 20’s are very impressionable, and need proper guidance. This is why terrorists, gangs and cults prey on these people. It is much easier to convince someone at this age that your way is the right way than it is if someone is older and “wiser”.

–  We also talked about how in Franklin Hortons book “Ashes of the Unspeakable” They must let people out of prison. How would it be ethically decided that they get let out if necessary? And what would the repercussions be on society?  We also did an interview with Franklin that you can listen to here.

Learning to Read People

A while back I wrote this article about how to read people and peel back the onion. We need to be careful how much information we give out to people, but sometimes we might not have a choice. As we get to know someone more we start to feel more comfortable about giving out information. We need to be careful about how much information we give out, and to who.

In that article, I also talked about how to read someone you know very little about, or nothing at all. We need to look for “tells.” Tells are what someone does that can give them away. If someone is not making eye contact, if someone is being fidgety or if someone is stuttering can all be tells.

As preppers we have a tendency to focus on the disasters themselves and not the events that will follow. It’s important to understand how people might react in a crisis, and how they can become the X factor that makes a bad situation worse, or a bad situation better.

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Prepare For the Worst and Hope For the Best

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Prepare For the Worst and Hope For the BestWhen it comes to preparing for any sort of SHTF event it really is a guessing game. All we can (and should) do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best. There is no way to know exactly what might happen, but we can stack the deck in our favor by learning new skills, maintaining our health and preparing for these disasters while we still have the opportunity.

Next week we are going to expand on this a little bit and go over how people will be the X factor that could change the dynamics of a disaster. The way certain people react could make a disaster more tolerable, or make it even worse. 

We all have preconceived ideas of how things will go down in a worldwide, or nationwide SHTF situation happens. But do we really know what will happen? Do we really know how people that we love, and those that we don’t, we react?

The truth is no. We have no idea of how people will react, or what will transpire. But there are things that we can do to prepare for the unknown, after all, isn’t this why we all are preparing in the first place?

SPP182 Prepare For the Worst and Hope For the Best

The show note for this episode are a little short this week, but we went over much more about these topics in the show. We also talked about the future of prepping, and the future of our country. There is also a video about this at the end of the post.

Planning for Chaos

In the event something happens, we will all be waiting for the magical catalyst that will set everything off. The unfortunate thing is, we won’t know what that ‘thing’ is until after it happens. So be diligent now. Pay attention to what is going on in the world around you, and continue building your preps.

Adding in Unknown Variables

After things go to crap, you need to consider all possible scenarios both short term and long term. You need to think about how you and your family will live, and continue your ‘new normal’ on an everyday basis. You need to consider all of the not so good what if scenarios. There may be unfavorable characters that may wander onto your property. There may be mobs of marauders searching for preppers.

Stockpiling and Planning

Every day that you can prepare is a good day, don’t let it go to waste. Continue to prepare, and plan. Learn new skills, think of alternative ways to continue your lifestyle. You will need to have a lot of food, and every day necessities, as well as ways to continue the electricity, or alternatives.

You will also need a way to keep your preps safe. You will need to know about security, and how to keep your family safe, and you will need to have options to all the above. Plan for that now.

Know thy Neighbor

Put yourself out there, within reason. Get to know your neighbors, their strengths as well as their weaknesses. This could be valuable information in an SHTF situation.  You don’t need to spread your message of preparedness, but you do need to know how your neighbors are prepared.

If you have an understanding of the people who live around you, you will be better prepared to deal with them if things get ugly. You never know how people will react when things go bad, including yourself. So get to know your neighbors. There really is safety in numbers, and it is also important to know if these people will benefit, or be a hindrance to your own preparedness journey.

Know who lives around you, and what type of people are in your community, and then branch out further from your bubble. Don’t stay so focused on yourself that you forget about the millions of other people in this country. You need to always be looking at the big picture, and plan for it.

From Bad to Worse

You will need to know how to pace yourself when things go down. If the power goes out, don’t turn your home into a military installation just yet.  It is almost like a defcon scale, and this would be defcon 3. You are alert to the situation, but aren’t pulling out all the stops yet. Pull out your crank radio, or HAM radio, and pay attention. You will be on an alert status, but try not to over-react.

If it truly is an SHTF scenario, or could be, that alert status will jump up. If you feel a sense of urgency, don’t ignore it. This is what we plan and prep for, and you must know how to react.

Your Own Mental Health

Our own mental heath is a very important factor. If people are expecting us to lead, or looking to us for answers, we need to be able and willing to do so. If we are on the verge of “losing it” everyone else looking at us to lead them will follow suit.

This is a tough situation because none of us really know how a disaster scenario will affect us, but keeping a cool head (as much as possible) is critical in any survival situation.

Preparing For the Worst

Again, this is what we do, plan for the worst. And you need to come up with your worst-case scenario, no matter what that may be. And you need to plan for it. Also make sure that as you are planning for these large scale disaster events that you are not forgetting the little things.

Having a well stocked gun safe is useless without the right ammo, and having a pantry full of canned food is worthless without a can opener. On a larger scale, don’t get so focused on stockpiling food and water that you forget about security.

Learn From History

If you want to know what could happen, read about what has happened throughout history. Read up on how people reacted during the civil war, world wars and different situations. Look at the fall of the Roman empire. What happened during these SHTF scenarios? How did people react? People are creatures of habit, and we tend to duplicate and replicate our own pasts, for better or for worse. Study these situations, and learn from them.

The Future of Prepping

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10 Tips for Beginning Preppers

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10 Tips for Beginning PreppersThose of you that know Survivalist Prepper know that we try to focus on the basics of preparedness. We have the Survivalist Prepper Academy and the Survivalist Prepper podcast which are designed to show how easy preparedness can be, and how being concerned about your future doesn’t make you a whacked-out loon…it makes you smart.

It’s been a while since we went back to the basics, so in today’s show we talked about 10 tips for beginning preppers, and went into detail about getting started with prepping. If this is you, then do yourself a favor and listen to the show. There is also this video I did recently that goes through my 10 tips for beginning preppers.

Prepping is Becoming More Mainstream

While I don’t know the exact numbers, it seems to me that because people are more idealistically divided these days. I think that around 50% of the people continue to bury their heads in the sand, 25% take an active interest in their future and 25% know they should, but don’t.

Just 20 years ago prepping was seen as an overreaction and a waste of time, but 20 years ago we didn’t have a 20 trillion-dollar debt, and we didn’t have terrorists in our own backyard. It’s becoming more obvious these days that all is not good, and something needs to change.

Doomsday Prepper to the Rescue

This may sound odd, but I think shows like Doomsday Preppers and some of the National Geographic disaster shows actually helped the prepper movement. While some of these shows went out of their way to portray preppers as overboard conspiracy theorists, it also made people interested.

When people go beyond these TV shows, and look into what prepping really is, they find out that preppers are not hiding in the bushes with an AR15 and night vision goggles, peaking through your bedroom window waiting to take you out. Preppers are average everyday people just like you and I who just want to be ready if anything bad happens.

While nuclear war, terrorism and EMP’s make for good TV, preppers know that there is much more to it than that. Something as simple as a job loss could be a disaster to some people.

SPP177 10 Tips for Beginning Preppers

1. Relax (As Much As Possible): We all go through this whether we have been prepping for 5 days, or 5 years. We need to take a step back, breath and understand that some things are just out of our control. The odds of something happening tomorrow are pretty thin, and we probably have a little time to prepare.

2. Don’t Buy Anything Big Yet: during the Y2K scare many people went out a bought expensive supplies like generators, only to sell them days later at a fraction of the cost.  Even if you think you know what you need, the odds are you don’t know what you need right now.Give yourself a little time to understand prepping a little more.

3. Start Stocking Food and Water: While you want to hold off on the larger purchases right now, you do want to start stocking up on prepping supplies.

4. Do a Threat Assessment: Sometimes what we fear might happen isn’t the same as what is more likely to happen. If you subscribe to the email list (above right Prepping Crash Course) I have a threat assessment that goes into more detail about this. If you are already subscribed and want access just send me an email. You also might want to do a SWOT Analysis.

5. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses: This might seem a little self explanatory, but it really does help to know your strengths and weaknesses as they apply to prepping. This helps you figure out what areas of preparedness you need to work on, and some areas where you are ahead of the curve.

6. Learn New Skills: When you first become interested in preparedness it doesn’t take long to figure out just how much you need to buy. One way to fight this, and not break the bank, is to learn new skills. This is arguably more important than having prepping supplies, and with YouTube and all the other information on the internet, it’s easier than ever these days.

7. Figure Out a Prepping Budget: The best way to do anything right is to start with the foundation. The last thing you want to do is max out your credit cards in the name of preparedness. Figure out what you can spend on preparedness, set a budget and stick to it, over time everything will begin to add up.

8. Build a Bug Out Bag: A question I get all the time is “why does everyone talk about bug out bags? I don’t want to bug out.” One reason I think this is a good idea is because it gives you an idea about how preparedness works on a small scale. It helps you understand the 5 areas of preparedness.

9. Don’t Focus on One Area of Preparedness: Think of prepping as a time frame, not a checklist. Start preparing for 1 week, then 1 month, then 6 months, not certain areas like food or water. It does you no good to have a years worth of food stored if you have no water.

10. Have Patience & Enjoy the Ride: Over time you will begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In a year from now you will look back and see that you are more prepared than you ever though you would be. You will also find that you are more confident about your future because you actually took the steps to improve it.

The Prepper Christmas Contest!

prepper-christmas-giveawayIn the show this week we also mentioned this month’s Survivalist Prepper contest and how this one is going to be great! Thanks to the help of some of our friends in the prepper community we have 11 prizes to give away this month…and it could turn out to be more!

Here is a list of the prizes so far, and make sure and use this link to enter the contest.

 

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Interview: The Borrowed World By Franklin Horton

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interview-the-borrowed-world-by-franklin-hortonPost-apocalyptic prepper fiction books are extremely popular these days. With the likes of James Rawles, William R. Forstchen, A. American and Glen Tate already on most peoples must read list, another author, Franklin Horton is quietly rising in the ranks to join this list of great prepper fiction authors.

This week Lisa and I had the pleasure of interviewing Franklin Horton, who is the author of the 3 book (so far) Borrowed World Series. This prepper fiction series also includes Ashes of the Unspeakable and Legion of Despair. His newest book, Locker NINE tells the story of a father sending his daughter off to college when the unthinkable happens.

The Borrowed World (and all of Franklin Horton’s books) are available at Amazon and available in audio book format at Audible as well. While I’m not opposed to actually reading a book, I am a fan of audio books because in today’s busy world, sometimes you just can’t stop.

Regardless whether you decide to get the kindle version, get the paperback version or listen to the audio book, you won’t be disappointed. So far I have only listened to The Borrowed World, but I can’t wait to listen to the next 2 books and see where this series goes.

SPP174 Interview: The Borrowed World by Franklin Horton

As we did the interview today it became clear that Franklin knows his stuff. While he admits, he is no “survival expert” I think he is selling himself a little short. What he writes about and how he lives his daily life is just like most of us do. We learn as much as we can, we try to become as prepared as possible, and we hope we are prepared enough when that time comes.

A lot of prepper fiction books talk about either hard-core preppers, or completely unprepared people. Your book takes a different approach. It takes the same approach that we do with prepping, we talk about prepping with and about average everyday people.

While this interview was about his book The Borrowed World, it became much more than that as we broke down different characters and different situations. While Franklin says that his intention was not to create a prepping manual, there are situations in the book, and people we might be stuck with that are not part of our prepping “dream team” as he calls it.

Questions From the Show…

Here are some of the questions and subjects we covered in this week’s Survivalist Prepper podcast, and if you’re interested in getting your hands on any of his books, I will leave links to where you can get a hold of him or his books at the end of this post.

Q: The story begins like most of our daily lives begin; one parent heading out to work, and the other at home taking care of the kids. That quickly becomes the only thing normal about that day. In this book Jim has been preparing for some time, and his wife is neither on board or against prepping. Can you explain why you chose to do this? And how/why you created other characters the way you did?

Q: Has your bug out/in bag changed since writing The Borrowed World series? On this same point, how did your preparedness change in general?

Q: In the first run in with the “trailer park boys” as I call them, Jim pays close attention to what they have with them. They notice a backpack that is undoubtedly stolen. Can you talk about how important Situational Awareness is in a survival situation?

Q: The book shows how situations can escalate very quickly, and how sometimes we can be stuck with what we have. Can you expand on the importance of everyday carry items?

Q: In every survival situation, we are going to be stuck with the hand we are dealt and forced to deal with different people along the way. How do different personality’s play a role in a survival situation?

Q: We were introduced to you by a friend of ours Chin who you met a prepper camp; What is your takeaway from being part of Prepper Camp 2016? And what makes it different than the average Prepping Expo?

Q: You are an avid hiker, what pointers can he share on A. Getting started in hiking & B. Things he learned from hiking that help with prepping/survival?

This only scratches the surface of what we talked about in the show. Even if you don’t plan on reading the book, you will learn a lot about prepping and survival from Franklin… and you’ll probably want to get the book after that.

Where to Find Franklin

There are a few places you can find out more about Franklin and what he has planned in the future, the first being his website FranklinHorton.com

He also has a Facebook page you can visit here.

As I said earlier, all his books are available at Amazon and Audible. Have a look at all of Franklin Hortons prepper fiction books here.

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The Right Way to Invest in Silver for Preppers

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the-right-way-to-invest-in-silver-for-preppersWhen it comes to prepping there is quite a bit that revolves around money. While there is a lot we can do for free by learning, we still need “stuff”. In today’s show, we talked about the right way to invest in silver for preppers, and how the process works.

Our guest this week was Sidney who literally has a lifetime of experience investing in silver. She started in silver as a hobby at age 12, and has turned it into something that has helped her pay off student loans and other bills.

Sidney is “the average prepper” and that’s why we wanted her on the show. We didn’t want to talk to another financial guru talking about the stock market, capital gains and bla bla bla. We wanted to talk about how investing in silver will be beneficial to preppers who don’t have $20,000 to invest…which is most of us.

This is one of my favorite podcast episodes because we talk about the process of investing in silver, regardless whether you have $20 or $20,000. After you listen to the show I guarantee you will have a better understanding about the correct way to purchase silver, and how it will be helpful in a post collapse or SHTF society.

SPP174 The Right Way to Invest in Silver for Preppers

Here are some bullet points of what we talked about in this week’s Survivalist Prepper podcast, but I highly suggest you take the time and listen. This show will be especially helpful to people who what to know where to buy silver, what to buy and is it worth investing in silver in the first place.

The History of Silver

We started off the show talking about why investing in silver is a good idea for preppers, and how it has maintained its value throughout history.  We focused mainly of silver in this show because it is the most viable option for preppers.

Question: One of the main concerns for preppers is why invest in silver if the government is just going to try and confiscate it in a depression type event…like they’ve done in the past.

Answer: While it is possible, it’s not likely because we live in a different world than we did during the great depression. It will also be difficult to track who owns silver, and how much they own.

Digital Currency

Question: With everything we do being digital these days, and the volatility of fiat currency, what are some reasons owing silver would be beneficial.

Answer: Silver more stable than fiat currency, like the saying goes “if you can’t hold it in your hand, it’s not real. Not only will owning silver protect you against cyber-attacks and hyperinflation, it will also survive floods, and fires.

Spot Pricing

Question: Sometimes it can be difficult to know what is a good price to buy silver at. Can you explain spot pricing, and what we should pay for silver as preppers.

Answer: Spot price is the current market value of silver because of supply and demand. The premium is the dealer’s markup, which should be no larger than 10% to 15% above spot price.

Buying & Selling

Question: Where should we go to purchase silver to avoid getting “ripped off”, and is purchasing online a safe method.

Answer: Purchasing in person (not online) is beneficial for a few reasons, one being that if you pay in cash, it’s untraceable. The more you get to know your silver dealer, the more confident you will be with your purchases with them. Becoming a valuable customer to them will also help you get better premiums down the line.

Finding a Silver Dealer

Question: How did you go about finding a reputable silver dealer in your area.

Answer: Cidney started off at 12 years old as a hobby and learned the process early on. Silver is a small investment (compared to gold) which give you the ability to learn about the dealer with minimal risk. Research dealers in your area and work with them before you make large purchases.

Side Note: Sidney tells a great story about how she got started, and how easy it can be for us.

Different Types of Silver

Junk Silver:  Junk silver refers to coins minted by the US Government pre 1965, but can include silver spoons, earrings and necklaces etc. There are purity levels when it comes to silver. Most junk silver is between 40% and 90% pure. As for junk silver coins, each year and coin will have different purity levels.

Rounds vs Coins: Only government minted can be called coins, otherwise they are considered rounds. Rounds can be collector rounds that look like coins, but are not government minted. Even though we refer to these as “coins”, they can’t be legally used as currency.

Side Note: If for some reason you wanted to leave the country, because things were bad here, but not somewhere else, you might need to declare silver at the airport.

If you take 100oz of silver out of the country, you need to claim it at spot price. If you take silver eagles outside the United States, you only need to claim it at the $1 value…which would be worth spot price in another country.

Bullion: We tend to think of gold bars when we think of bullion, but there is also silver bullion. These can come in 1oz, 10oz or 50oz bars that are stamped with weight and purity level.

Post Collapse Silver

Question: If the economy crashes, and the value of silver falls, what is the point of having silver.

Answer: There will probably be a mass selloff of silver, and the only people buying it will be wealthy who buy low and sell high…we might even be able to take advantage of this.

As preppers, if we have our food storage covered and our debt inline we won’t need to be part of the selloff, and we can hold on to our silver, and possibly buy a little more until the market comes back.

Bartering: Because silvers value could possibly fall, bartering with it might be difficult in the beginning. It might also be a more viable option to barter with silver, than say 5 chickens depending on the situation and the person you are bartering with.

Closing Thoughts…

There are quite a few scenarios when it comes to thinking about an SHTF event, so there’s no way to know how valuable silver will be. History has shown that precious metals always retain their value eventually.

Investing in silver is one of those things preppers should do because even if nothing happens, over time it’s just going to go up in value… and it doesn’t expire!

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Prepping & World Conflicts

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prepping AND world conflicts Does it seem like we are heading closer to world war 3 these days? It does to me. In this week’s show Lisa and I talked about prepping & World conflicts, and how it seems like all the pieces are being set in place for a major change.

During World War 2 there were the Axis and Allies, and today it seems like seems like everyone is picking sides in the same way. What is also alarming is that no one seems to see the writing on the wall. Just about everyone who lived during World War 2 are gone, and people these days have no idea about what could actually happen.

We have been lucky enough to live without a conflict like this that affects us right here at home like WW2 did. We have had Korea and Vietnam, but when Americans think about war, it’s just something they see on T.V before going about their day.

SPP172 Prepping & World Conflicts

War Has Changed

Back in the 40’s cutting off supply lines meant roads and territory, these days it means the internet and cyber security. While we still need boots on the ground, much more can be done to weaken a target before it even comes to that.

In the show we talked about what the timeline might look like if something like this were to happen. On the surface it looks like it would be cyber warfare, leading to military conflicts, leading to nuclear war.

It could also be something that happens overseas that pulls us into the fight, forcing our hand. With unstable countries like North Korea and Iran, it wouldn’t surprise me if something started off because of a nuclear strike, rather than ending with one.

We have had the luxury of being far enough away from our enemies that the closest they could get to us is Pearl Harbor. Those days are gone, and it’s only a matter of time before something happens right in our backyard.

Cutting off critical infrastructure in the United States is easier than ever before, and while Russia is ramping up their nuclear arsenal, we are doing nothing. As a matter of fact, we are going in reverse and dismantling our military.

Americas Top 10 Fears

Before I get into what my main concerns are when it comes to prepping, I found this list that is quite telling when it comes to why prepping is becoming more mainstream. Just about everything on this list is why each of us feel like preparedness is so important.

  • Corruption of government officials (same top fear as 2015) — 60.6%
  • Terrorist attacks — 41%
  • Not having enough money for the future — 39.9%
  • Being a victim of terror — 38.5%
  • Government restrictions on firearms and ammunition — 38.5%
  • People I love dying — 38.1%
  • Economic or financial collapse — 37.5%
  • Identity theft — 37.1%
  • People I love becoming seriously ill — 35.9%
  • The Affordable Health Care Act/”Obamacare” — 35.5%

How to Prepare (My Top Concerns)

In the show we talked about what our main concerns are when it comes to preparing. While I think it’s important to be prepared if a nuclear strike happens, I think we need to prepare for the hard times that might come before that.

It’s possible that these conflicts start overseas, and could affect our economy and our daily lives in a way that doesn’t involve military conflict for most Americans. This could include a grid failure and critical infrastructure caused by an EMP, job losses and hyperinflation.

Food Storage: This continues to be on the top of my list because this is something people will be fighting for on a daily basis if there is none…or very little. This can be done fairly easily, and be done over a short period of time.

There are a few options when it comes to food storage. Purchasing a few extra canned goods each week is a good way to build up your food storage, and purchasing dehydrated food is a great option because of convenience (storage) and shelf life.

Water Storage: While it’s possible that if we are looking at something that causes our economy to tank we would still have water and an electrical grid, there is still the possibility that water would become a concern.

In my opinion knowing where to find water, and knowing how to clean water is more important than storing water. While water storage is important, it is almost impossible for most Americans to store enough to last for an extended period of time.

Fuel Storage: Fuel storage is important for many reasons, and also a challenge for most people. Depending on the scenario we still might be able to use our generator, drive to get water or supplies, or offer help to our community.

Fuel storage is not just gasoline, fuel storage includes fuel for cooking and fuel for heating our homes. Wood, Kerosene and propane all need to be considered depending on our personal situation.

Grid Down: With our electrical grid the way it is, and with our dependence on technology, preparing for a grid down event is always a priority. We need to have alternative plans to communicate with our family, and alternative ways to light and heat the house.

Even if the grid doesn’t go down, if the economy tanks and you lose your job, you might not be able to pay the electric bill. Having alternative is very important, even if it’s only for a short period of time.

Security: Regardless what the situation is, security is something we always need to be vigilant about. Even if it’s just an economic crisis, crime will still be on the rise. The last thing we want it to build up our food storage only to have it stolen from us.

This also includes personal security. If someone comes to take what we have, the odds are they won’t care if we are home or not. Most people will not care that you took the time to prepare. They will feel entitled to what you have because “it’s only fair.”

Investing: We are going to go into more detail next week about investing in gold and silver, but it’s important to get our finances in line (as much as possible) while we can. There is no way to tell how useful having gold and silver will be in a post collapse society, but the odds are it will be.

Bartering: Bartering supplies is sometime overlook by preppers because there is just so much we need to do for ourselves first. With that being said, bartering supplies could be the difference between you getting what you need, or having to go without.

Having bartering supplies could also help you to be seen as the “good guy.” If you are able to help other people, you might be able to create needed alliances. Keep in mind, there is another side of this coin that makes you a target.

In Closing…

As I look back on what I have written I see that not much has changed when it comes to how I am preparing. What has changed is my heightened sense that something is just over the horizon, and now is the time to take care of the loose ends.

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Being the Gray man & Situational Awareness

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being-the-gray-man-situational-awarenessBeing the gray man and situational awareness is about more than what you wear, it’s about everything you do that might make you stand out in a crowd. Being the gray man is about what you do and say on a daily basis, and who you say it to.

Throughout our daily live we do things trying to become the gray man every day. If you’ve ever tried to avoid eye contact with an annoying acquaintance or a street vendor, you have tried to become the gray man.

You can talk about operational security and situational awareness without talking about being the gray man, but you can’t talk about being the gray man without talking about operational security and situational awareness. Becoming unremarkable and unmemorable require you to understand your situation and act accordingly.

As I was growing up I was the gray man without even thinking about it. I was the quiet child that would always fly under the radar. My siblings were always busy talking, while I was always busy thinking about how to handle each situation. Because of this I was allowed to do just about anything I wanted because everyone trusted me, and focused their attention elsewhere.

SPP170 Being the Gray man & Situational Awareness

This week in the show Lisa and I went over some of the things that help us become unremarkable and might help us blend into the crowd. We also talked about how being the gray man changes depending on the situation you are facing.

Blending In

If you live in an urban area you might not want to be wearing cammo and carrying a tactical backpack or bug out bag. If you live in a rural area you wouldn’t want to be wearing a 3-piece suit and carrying suitcase. Fitting in means looking just like everyone else, and unremarkable in every way.

The same would hold true in a small scale or large scale SHTF event. If everyone else is starving and losing weight, yet you look as healthy as ever because you have prepared, you are going to stand out. If everyone is without power and they see light coming from your window at night, you will be a target.

Prepper Hate: There is also the phenomena that Selco called “Prepper Hate” that we need to consider.  This is when people form opinions about you according to their agenda, and rationalize stealing or harming you.

This might not be that big of a deal these days, but in any sort of disaster situation these people could say…

“They have way too much food; they must have stolen it”

“It’s not fair that they have food and we don’t, someone needs to make them share.”

These people could easily get other people on board with them and have no problem doing whatever it takes to feed their family…even if it means harming you.

In the show we mentioned when Selco was on the survival podcast and talked about what he went through in the Balkins. Listen to that episode here. 

Your Outward Appearance

I briefly mentioned how most people will be losing weight, and if we don’t (because we have prepared) we will be on their radar very quickly. I recommend going to the thrift store and getting some clothes that are a size or 2 too big, so it looks like you have lost weight just like everyone else.

This also includes how our house looks, and our outside activity’s on a daily basis. If you get deliveries of long term food storage that sit on your front porch for everyone to see, that could be a red flag. If you have prepping supplies stored in your garage that neighbors can see, that could be a red flag.

We need to take a look at what we are doing that might compromise our operational security, and correct those problems while we can.

Just Shut Up and Listen

“Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply” – Stephen R Covey –

shut-up-and-listenOne of the biggest parts of being the gray man and operational security is the ability to listen and plan accordingly. If we are constantly talking and trying to impose our view, we are probably missing the important details.

As the saying goes “loose lips sink ships” and we all know at least 1 person that just talks WAY too much. We can’t afford to give out too much information because it come back to bite us in the future, especially by people we are unsure of.

We can get a better idea about these people by simply listening, and asking probing question. If they are one of those people that never stop talking, just shut up, listen and take it all in. They are probably giving you more insight that they even know.

Sizing People Up

I have written about how to size people up in the past, and it basically comes down to listening and posing the right questions. How someone handles everyday stressful situations could give you an idea about how they will handle real stress in a disaster situation.

I have also written about how we are going to need other people in a crisis situation because no one person can do everything. However, there is a fine line when it comes to creating a prepper group, or community, and giving out too much information to the wrong person.

It’s really up to you how you handle each situation, but if you go in cautiously and calculated, you have a better chance of coming out on top, and knowing whether you should stop talking about prepping, or if it’s ok to probe a little further.

Gray Man Prepping

In the process of our daily lives it’s important to practice situational awareness, operational security and becoming the gray man because a disaster is no time for practice. We can store all the food in the world, and have all the greatest prepping supplies, but if we don’t know how to hold on to them when times get tough it’s all for naught.

We need to look at every situation realistically, and be honest about how we are putting ourselves at risk. As I said earlier, right now it’s about avoiding a conversation with an annoying friend. In an SHTF event, that conversation could be potentially dangerous.

Gray Man Bugging Out

While becoming the gray man is the same no matter what situation you are facing, there are a whole different set of rules when it comes to bugging out. If we find ourselves in a bugging out (or in) situation timing and planning are critical.

This is why practicing situational awareness, and practicing becoming the gray man are so important. In a bug out situation it’s game time, it’s time to take everything you have learned and put it into action.

When we are thrust into a life threatening situation, we need to be able to react accordingly and make the right decisions. Sometimes the correct decision is avoiding the conflict all together, and that is what being the gray man is all about.

The SHTF Gray Man

Being the gray man in a post collapse or SHTF event is probably the most critical of all because there is really no set of rules, and no way to know what might happen. We all like to think about how we would handle every disaster situation, but the truth is there is no way to know.

There are so many different variables when it comes to a disaster situation, and so many events that would be caused by the initial event, that we need to be able to pivot and make critical decisions. Right now we can play the “what if” game, and if we are wrong we can hit the reset button and start over. In an SHTF scenario there is no reset button, and we will need to live (hopefully) with the decisions we have made.

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Hard to Prep for Supplies, and Making Prepping Easier

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Hard to Prep for Supplies, and Making Prepping EasierWhen it comes to prepping it’s pretty easy to figure out the basics when it comes to the preparedness supplies…for the most part. The problem is digging through that information and making prepping easier.

Some of these hard to prep for supplies include items like prescription medications, storing bulky items like water and fuel, and even items to maintain your sanity. In this weeks Survivalist Prepper Podcast we talked about some of these hard to prep for supplies, and even some easy to prep items that we just don’t.

SPP168 Hard to Prep for Supplies

Storing Water

Storing water seems pretty easy right? You turn on the faucet and fill up some water jugs. The problem come in when you start figuring out how much we use on a daily basis. At the bare minimum you would need around 500 Gallons per person, per year.

Without water, all of our other preparedness means nothing, and this is why we need to think about other options to supplement our water storage. There are quite a few other options for finding water in an SHTF scenario if we know where to look, and you need to know where some water sources are in your area.

The Good Foods

Storing extra food for a disaster is not that hard to do. Even if you just buy a little extra here and there, in a short period of time you can store quite a bit. The problem is that this canned food, and freeze dried long term food storage just isn’t the same as a nice juicy steak, or BBQ chicken.

There are a few solutions like pressure canning and raising chickens or small animals, but these still require you to learn how to do it. A few other foods that come to mind are cheese, ice cream, milk and butter. You can get the freeze dried version of all of these, but it’s just not the same.

Prescription Medications & Antibiotics

Some people have preexisting conditions that make prescription medications a necessity, and some people could reduce their dependency on these medicines by trying to be healthier. Eventually these medications are going to run out, and we will need to find alternatives…if possible.

This might not be a huge issue in a short term disaster because most prescriptions are given out on a monthly basis, and if you have a good relationship with your doctor, you might be able to get a little extra. Long term is another story, in this case you will need to do some research and see what your options are.

In the past we have gone over using fish antibiotics as alternatives in an SHTF scenario, but make sure you understand what they will be useful for, and when to use them. Using the wrong antibiotic can not only be useless, but harmful.

Personal Addictions

We all have our personal “addictions” whether that’s coffee, cigarettes, chocolate or alcohol, and most people think that when the S hits the fan we will need to cut these out altogether. My opinion is that the opposite is true, for a couple of reasons.

The first reason is your sanity. Any sort of disaster or SHTF event is going to be stressful enough, and having some of these stockpiled will give you a sense of normalcy, and help you maintain your sanity.

The second reason is bartering. While it will be dangerous if the word gets out that you have 30 bottles of vodka, or 30 cartons of cigarettes, they can be used for barter items if the need arises. It’s sad to say, but I think that anything that helps people “escape reality” will be some of the best bartering supplies in an SHTF event.

Our Personal Sanity

By our personal sanity I mean ourselves and our family. We need to have the mental capacity to handle the situation, and we just don’t know how we, or our family will react. The more we plan for these events now, the better our chances or reacting rationally, rather than losing control.

Our family could add undue stress on us as well. If we have family members that are not on board (and most people do) they will not handle the situation well. While it’s important to try to get them on board with prepping now, we also need to understand how to deal with that situation when disaster strikes.

Alternative Energy

This is another one that on a small scale is fairly easy. We can store extra batteries, have a couple small solar chargers or some firewood stockpiled, but large scale is a different story. We won’t need, or use the energy we do today, but we will need something.

Putting together a solar set up that will supply enough power is expensive, and is hard to learn. I made this solar generator last year, but this is nowhere near what I would need if something lasted longer than a few days.

Any sort of disaster that lasted longer than a couple of weeks would require a battery bank. You can even connect your battery bank (or generator) to your home fuse box with a transfer switch which allows you to supply power to necessary circuits.

Storing Ammo

If you own a gun you know that you need to practice with it, that means using ammo. This makes storing ammo a little challenging and expensive. We you are storing ammo you need to store hundreds, or thousands of rounds. My challenge is the more I have, the more I want to go shoot.

Price and availability can also be a challenge. In my area .22 ammunition is about 25 cents per round, and 223 ammunition is about 50 cents per round. This might not seem like a lot, but if you are storing thousands of rounds, it means hundreds of dollars.

Storing Extra Fuel

Fuel doesn’t just mean gas for your car, fuel is everything from wood, to propane and even batteries.  Just like everything else when it comes to prepping, eventually it is going to run out.

The easiest challenge to overcome when storing fuel is rotation and storage. Rotating is important because fuel does not have an unlimited shelf life like water, and how you store it also affects its shelf life.

Whether it’s kerosene for your lamps, or fuel for your car, you need to have a plan on how to store it, where to store it and how much you can (or want) to store in the first place.

Easy to Prepare for, But we Don’t

At the end of this week’s show we also talked about some items that are fairly easy to stockpile, but sometimes we just don’t.

Toiletries & Hygiene

Items like soap, toilet paper, household cleaners, toothpaste, deodorant and razors have long shelf lives, and should be easy to store right? The problem is that we use most of these on a regular basis so one month we could be sitting pretty, and the next month we can be completely out.

We also get so focused on food and water that these sometimes get put on the back burner. The grea thing about all these hygiene supplies it that they have a long shelf life, and can be purchased fairly cheap. You can even get most of these at the dollar store.

Tools

I can’t tell you how many tools I have (that I never use) because I had to buy a certain tool for a certain job. The other side of the coin is that over time I have built a large collection. when and if something happens I know my odds of having the right tool for the job is higher.

Even if you have no use for tools or no mechanical ability, its still important to have some tools because someone else might have the ability, but not have the tools. Garage sales & thrift stores are a great place to find used tools at a low price.

Reading Material

Having some reading material in an SHTF event is not only important because you want useful information, but you want some entertaining material as well. There might be a lot of downtime, and without our modern day distractions we will need a way to fill that time.

Different types of reading material include survival information, tutorials, entertainment, prepper fiction, stored files, printed files, survival manuals and even books that have nothing to do with prepping, but you enjoy.

Applying Skills

Lastly, and possibly most importantly, is the fact that we are all guilty to one extent or another of learning about survival techniques, but never putting that knowledge into action. If you own a ferro rod, and never started a fire with it, it’s time to get started.

An SHTF event is no place to “practice” in that situation it’s game time. When resources and time are limited, the last thing you want to do is be making mistakes. We have these resources available to us now, so why not use them while we have them.

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Preparing for SHTF: A Reality Check

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Preparing for SHTF A Reality CheckAs preppers we try to think about every SHTF possibility we can, but preparing for any sort of SHTF event isn’t as cut and dry as we sometimes make it out to be. While it’s important to think about every possibility, and think about all the “what if’s” the chances are very little will go according to plan.

As preppers we try to think about cause and effect. What could cause a SHTF event, and what affect will that have on my family. In the case of an actual SHTF event, we won’t be able to write the script, we need to have the ability to pivot and make critical decisions at a moment’s notice.

The 6 P’s is what prepping is really about. The 6 P’s are “Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.” The larger scenarios are fairly easy to prepare for, but it’s only when you dig a little deeper that you get the full grasp of what might happen in different SHTF scenarios.

SPP166 Preparing for SHTF: A Reality Check

Puzzle PiecesBelow are a few things to think about as you are preparing. Prepping is sort of like putting together a puzzle. It is fairly easy to put together the main part, but it gets more difficult as you work around the edges.

Being truly prepared means having the knowledge to react to any given situation, and put that puzzle piece in the right spot when the clock is ticking.

Not Every Scenario Includes Scenes From Mad Max

It’s somewhat natural to think of every SHTF situation as a total collapse, but in reality there are much more likely scenarios that don’t include a total collapse. As we think about a SHTF situation we tend to go to the extreme (I do anyway) our mind takes us to the worst case scenario.

Now I’m not saying we need to ignore these large scale disaster scenarios, but because we live in a first world country (and the greatest country on earth) a Mad Max scenario is highly unlikely. I’ll explain more as you continue reading.

The Government Is Not Going Away

Even though we hear a lot about WROL (without rule of law) the chances or our government (or some sort of government) being completely out of the picture is highly unlikely.  There is a caveat to this though, especially in the short term.

If something were to happen quickly, the government wouldn’t be able to respond meaning every man (woman) for himself. This would also create a martial law scenario until the powers that be figure out how to get their control back.

A government might not be the same people that hold office today, but someone, somewhere is going to see an opportunity and seize it. This could be people that hold lower offices today, or it could be other countries coming in and taking advantage.

Every Situation Will Be Fluid

The ability to change course during a disaster scenario is critical to our survival. There are some things we can plan and prepare for, and some things that we just need to wait and see how it unfolds.

If and when there is an economic collapse, how you handle it depends on how quickly it happens, how extreme it is, and how prepared you are for it.

If Martial Law were enacted it could mean a number of different thigs depending on where you live, why it was enacted and how other people around you are reacting.

Life’s Still Going to Suck

No matter how prepared you are, your daily life is going to change. All of these daily conveniences we “just can’t live without” might all be gone or even just unaffordable. Weekly trash service could be gone, cell phones could be useless, and electricity in general could be gone.

In some cases, we would be waiting until everything goes back too normal, and in some cases we would have to adapt to the new normal. The more we are prepared now, the easier this transition will be, but we still need to be ready for a huge lifestyle change.

They Might All Be Bad…But Don’t Bet On It

We have talked quite a bit about how important community is, and how the lone wolf route is a bad idea because people need people.  None of us can do everything, so having others in our inner circle can only help our survival plans…as long as they are the right people.

This can be easier said than done though right? We don’t want to let someone in that will derail our preparedness plan, or put us in danger. On the other side of the coin though, we don’t want to give our neighbors the perception that we are the bad guys because we are reclusive and mysterious.

You Don’t Have What You Think You Have

We all know that unexpected things are going to happen in any sort of SHTF event, and that a SHTF event could be cause by a number of different things.  Because of this it’s really impossible to say that you are prepared for defined amount of time.

Food might spoil, people might get added to your group, your supplies might be stolen, or even something as simple as people not following your rationing plans could lower your expected supply timeline.

What we do is take what we have and divide it by 2. Over the course of a month this is not all that important, but over the course of a year many things can, and will change.

Hunting Won’t Be That Easy

Quite a few people think they are going to grab their guns and go out and kill dinner, but that might not be as easy as it sounds. First, there aren’t as many animals out there as there used to be, and second there are a lot more people these days.

Another thing to consider is how good are you at hunting? Hunting isn’t as easy as grabbing your gun, putting on some cammo and heading out to get dinner. You’re going to need tracking skills, you’re going to need to know where to look, and you need to keep in mind that you won’t be alone.

TFHT Predictive Programming

predictive programmingIn the Tin Foil Hat Time segment of the show this week Lisa and I talked about what predictive programming is, and how we fall for it all the time. Here are some of Lisa’s notes for the show.

First we need to understand what  predictive programming is…

Predictive programming is basically how the media is used to influence and guide society, for example to impose a belief and value system on society at large. Have you heard of the term propaganda?

This is from the website The Coincidence Theorist. For predictive programming to work as a valid form of psychological conditioning, the following set of general rules and assumptions have to be made:

  • A group of powerful people (with a common agenda) might be able to exert a special influence over the entertainment industry.
  • People are less likely to resist societal developments that they’ve already been familiarized with.
  • The messages planted within fiction can vary in terms of their subtlety, ranging from subliminal clues to important plot points.
  • Although predictive programming prepares people for large social change, specific events can also be foreshadowed.
  • The exact contexts of the “predictions” (and the subsequent reactions of the characters within the story) aren’t strictly important.

To give you an example of how to spot predictive programming, take some words from one of our political candidates right now. Hilary Clinton made a comment toward Donald Trump of how he is caught up with conspiracy theories, yet in the same breath she made a comment of how Vladimir Putin is using Americans as spies to find out the secrets of the Democratic Party, and that Russia will be involved in causing her to lose the election.

First and foremost, she just created a conspiracy theory. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! She also made references to the KKK, and racism, which if you know anything about history, the Democratic Party is the party responsible for the KKK, as well as pushing racism. But that is another point entirely.

The point is she is already placing ideas into people’s heads about Russia, and that we need to be wary of other countries, such as Russia. She is planting the seed that Russia is bad, and we need to defend ourselves against them. This is a blatant example of predictive programming.

Most of the population won’t even pay attention to a comment like this now, but what if she becomes our leader? Can you see where her deep hatred would be transformed during her rule into provoking a war with Russia?

Our “leaders” (greedy pigs run by handlers) have an agenda, and the chosen few, or top 1% have their own agenda and the use their puppets, like Obama, and Clinton etc. to promote and push their agenda onto us, the dumb public.

They plant seeds into our brains, and then the majority of people buy into it. Pay attention to the little seeds they are planting. If you have a funny feeling in your gut, pay attention to it, because something deep inside of you is telling you something isn’t right.

Predictive programming is placing the concepts into our heads, so we see this as normal, and we accept it. Examples of predicative programming in our past can be found in many movies, as well as comments made by political leaders:

  • Hilary Clinton’s comments in regard to Russia
  • Barak Obama focusing on police officers being bad
  • The race war (made to keep the general population fighting amongst themselves

Movies and Tv:

  • Minority report (introducing controversial technology)
  • Enemy of the State introducing controversial technology)
  • The Simpsons (introducing foreshadowing of events to happen, like 9/11)
  • 2001 a Space Odyssey from 1968 (and then we landed on the moon?)
  • World War Z, Independence Day, Armegeddon (preparing the masses for a disaster or significant event)

And what about the little subtleties in movies letting us know things that are not ok are the norm, and socially accepted, things like Martial law, or the UN coming in and taking over in the USA, sure this is ok, because they have been programming us to accept it.

This Months Contest

Here is the video I did with the prizes for this months contest. You can go here to place your entries for the contest.

 

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Bushcraft Prepping: Wilderness Survival skills for Preppers

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Bushcraft Prepping Wilderness Survival skills for PreppersWhen it comes to preparedness there is quite a bit more that goes into it than building a lean to shelter and starting a fire. Everything we do as preppers is geared for not having to revert to these primitive methods.

With that being said, if we take these bushcraft (wilderness survival) skills for granted, we are leaving a big hole in our preparedness plans. Not all people that are interested in bushcraft are interested in prepping, but all preppers should be interested in Bushcraft…to some extent.

Most of the gear is the same: As you are researching bug out bags or what the best ferro rod is, you are bound to come across some articles about bushcraft, camping or hiking. As a matter of fact, there is a lot we can learn about quality and effectiveness for these people who use this survival gear on a daily basis.

A lot of the skills are the same: The basics of survival are the same no matter if you are in the wilderness, or in an urban environment.  The materials and applications might be different, and the wild animals might be human, but the rule of 3’s applies no matter where you are on the planet.

The mental aspect of bushcraft and wilderness survival: Possibly more important than any tool you can have, is the sheer will to survive, and the skill set to do it. The very core of bushcraft is to have the ability to survive with the materials around you, and the skills in your head, although it goes much deeper than that.

This doesn’t mean we need to become master outdoorsmen and women. To do this requires a massive commitment, and can’t be done by watching a few YouTube videos. There are quite a few bushcraft skills that will be very useful to preppers though, and skills that could be the difference between life and death in an shtf situation.

SPP164 Bushcraft Prepping: Wilderness Survival skills for Preppers

In the show this week we talked about some of these bushcraft skills that preppers should try and learn, and how they can be useful skills no matter where you live.

Here are a few examples that I separated into bushcraft skills, and prepper skills. This illustrates how people interested in wilderness survival might not be interested in some preparedness skills, but preppers should be interested in all of these skills.

Bushcraft Skills: FOOD

  • Making Fire
  • Wood processing
  • Primitive tool making
  • Plant identification
  • Foraging
  • Hunting
  • Trapping & Fishing
  • Tracking

Prepper Skills: FOOD

  • Food Storage
  • Stockpiling
  • Coupons
  • Canning & preserving
  • Organization
  • Learning Recipes
  • Budgeting
  • Shelf Lives

Bushcraft Skills: WATER

  • Locating water
  • Collecting water
  • Purifying water

Prepper Skills: WATER

  • Water Storage
  • Purify Water
  • Water Usage & Sanitation

Bushcraft Skills: SHELTER

  • Types of Shelter
  • Different Resources
  • Tying Knots
  • Locations

Prepper Skills: SHELTER

  • Keeping Warm/Cool
  • Storing Blankets/Clothes
  • Home Security
  • DIY Projects

Bushcraft Skills: SECURITY

  • Stealth
  • Knowledge of Area
  • Primitive Alarms

Prepper Skills: SECURITY

  • Operational Security
  • Be the Gray Man
  • Self Defence

Skills Shared by Bushcraft & Preparedness

Health & Fitness

  • First Aid
  • Endurance
  • Strength
  • Overall Health
  • Diet

Mental Preparedness

  • Survival Mindset
  • Creativity
  • Adaptability
  • Situational Awareness
  • Planning & Strategy

As I said earlier, we don’t need to become experts at bushcraft, but we should take advantage of some of the skills these experts have. The great thing about these skills is that they aren’t really that difficult to learn, you just have to do it! So take some time, and focus on one skill at a time. The more you practice, the better you will become!

Also in the Show…

In the Tin Foil Hat Time segment we mentioned a video from Viking Preparedness. In this video Pastor Joe Fox talked about the presidential elections, and the direction he see’s our country going.

This is one of my favorite YouTube channels, make sure and subscribe!

 

As I was doing research for this show I ran across this article from MoreThanJustSurviving that has even more information about bushcraft skills and why they are useful for preppers.

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Life After SHTF & Some Overlooked Problems

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Life After SHTF & Some Overlooked ProblemsAs preppers we are always looking for ways to improve our situation, and think about what live would be like after a SHTF event. Even if we have our food storage covered, our water storage covered and have plenty of guns and ammo, all it takes is one kink in the hose to mess up our preparedness plan.

The truth is, foods storage and water storage are the easy parts of prepping. While these might be the most important, there are a number of smaller situations that we don’t give a second thought to that could cause big problems when it comes to life after SHTF if we don’t know how to handle them.

In the show this week Lisa and I went over some overlooked areas of preparedness, and how even the smallest thing could become a game changer.

SPP161 Life After SHTF & Some Overlooked Problems

No Public Servants

This might not be “overlooked” but it is something that deserves more consideration than it gets. Without police, the fire department and EMT’s we will be completely on our own when it comes to solving major problems.

We take for granted how easily we can get support when we need it these days, but what would you do if there were no police to intervene? Or what if you had to put out a house fire with a garden hose? We need to think about some of these scenarios, and think about what we would do.

Not Being Honest With Yourself

We all like to give ourselves a little more credit than we deserve…I know I do. But if we are not honest about how prepared we are, or how skilled we are, we are setting ourselves up to fail. When all the cards are on table, the only one it’s going to matter to is us. It’s either us surviving, or us not surviving.

Being honest with yourself means leaving your ego at the front door, knowing there is always someone better than us, and knowing there is always more we can learn.

Trash & Sanitation

Without our trash being taken away on a weekly basis, sanitation is bound to become an issue. Not only will the trash be building up, but cleaning the house will not be as easy as turning on the faucet, plugging in the vacuum, or even something as simple as flushing the toilet.

Keeping ourselves clean, and our cloths clean will also be harder than it is today. Taking a hot shower will be a thing of the past unless you have a solar shower, and washing clothes means using an old school washboard, or using something like the Wonder Wash.

Everything is Going to Run Out

Like it or not all of our preparedness supplies are going to run out at one point or another. Spoilage, overusage and theft could all reduce our preparedness timeline. Even if nothing like this happens, eventually our food, our ammo, our supplies, and medication are going to run out.

We need to think about all the supplies and food we have stored as a buffer to get us through until we can figure out a long term solution.

Not Having Tools or Supplies

Most of us have a hammer and a couple of screwdrivers, but do you have something as simple as nails and screws? If we need to do repairs on the home, or build something, there will be no hardware store to go to, what we have will be our hardware store.

Having manual tools like saws, hammers and drills are important, but not having the little things can make life pretty difficult. Making sure we have tapes and adhesives, enough screws and nails, automotive fluids, wrenches and sockets and maybe even some scrap wool laying around is a good idea.

Not Having the Skills You Need

We all like to believe that we could do what it takes when push comes to shove (I do anyway) but in reality, the situation will play our far different in real life than it does in our heads.

The more skills we have, the less supplies we need to survive. Not only are these skills free (for the most part) they give us the ability to get through tough situations by using our heads, giving us an advantage over everyone who is reliant on the “stuff” they have.

Boredom/Entertainment

While life after SHTF is going to require more manual labor and work, there is bound to be down time…especially after the sun goes down. In today’s society we have a million distractions, but in a SHTF event that all goes away.

Having books, board games, musical instruments and even getting outside and doing some hard work are good ways of curing boredom. This is especially important for anyone with children, because a bored child can make your life miserable.

Communications

In a post SHTF situation cellphones might become non existent, or an unaffordable luxury, but we will still need a way to communicate when the family is separated. Shortwave radios, walkie talkies and ham radios might be our only option.

Also included in communication is talking to your family and educating them about safety and planning. Make sure everyone knows what to do in different situations, and make use of the down time by making sure everyone is on the same page.

Bartering Supplies

With all the “stuff” we need to buy when it come to being prepared, buying extra prepping supplies purely for bartering purposes tends to get put on the back burner. The truth is, these supplies could turn out to be incredibly useful.

Most people are not as prepared as we are, and when these people need lighters, batteries or even alcohol, we might be able to trade for something we need…like nails or wood that we don’t have haha.

Small things Become Big Things

We talked about a couple of articles in the podcast from Urban Survival Site that tie into life after SHTF & some overlooked problems pretty well. the first one was “10 SHTF Problems You Might Not Have Planned For” and the other was “20 Worst Things About Life After The SHTF

Other People

Just because you have been preparing, doesn’t mean everyone else has been. You need to think about what happens when someone comes to your door, and they will. How are you going to manage that type of situation? Have you shared your prepping with would be friends, or family? If you have, be prepared that if things get really bad, they are going to think of coming to your house as their salvation.

Every Day Conveniences

This will probably be the masses, rather than those who focus on preparedness. But there are modern conveniences that may not be available, like running water in your house, or electronic banking, or even your job. If all of these things were gone tomorrow, would you be ready? Do you have a backup plan?

In a total grid down event, the credit card companies may not come knocking on your door, but eventually they probably will. How will you pay your bills? It is enticing to think about the world going to crap, and no more bills. But remember people are greedy, they will figure out a way to get what they feel is owed to them, this includes your mortgage company. Make sure you have a way to pay your bills.

Also, when the food closet is bare, you will not be able to run to the store to buy dinner, you will need to have enough food to get through whatever situation you may have to face. So plan for the worst.

False Sense of Security

Once you begin to amass large quantities of food, it is easy to get complacent about your food storage. When you purchase a new gun, it is easy to think that you are more prepared. If you prep for a year or longer, it is easy to think you are better off than your neighbors.

It is this way of thinking that can sabotage your plan in the long run. This is why it is important to not only continually add to our supplies, but also our skills. We have an excellent opportunity right now to add to our skill set because we have practically everything at our finger tips. Don’t get lazy, use your time wisely and plan. You are your own insurance policy for an SHTF situation.

Not Having a Backup Plan

The most important thing in my opinion that preppers need to do is have a backup plan. Always plan for the worst, and figure out how you are going to in that situation. I have fun with this, and work through what if scenarios. What if I lost everything? What if the FEMA people came knocking on my door? What if I ran out of toilet paper?

These are all possibilities, so think through and plan what you would do, and come up with what if’s for every area of your preparedness.

 

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The Survivalist Prepper Podcast: Ask the Rescue Ninja

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The Survivalist Prepper Podcast Ask the Rescue NinjaIn this week’s Survivalist Prepper Podcast we did a segment called Ask the Rescue Ninja (Ask the R.N.) where Lisa answered some listener questions. Here are some of the show notes for those questions, and you can listen to the show here.

How about when/ when not to suture a wound after SHTF

In my opinion, the only time I would ever suture a wound is if I had made a surgical incision. If I did not, I would not suture it. The main reason to suture a wound is to help it heal faster, however you run the risk of infection if you suture a dirty wound shut.

You can put in a drain, and then suture the wound closed, but you are still leaving an opening, which bacteria can get in, so I am of the mind set to leave it open, and do dressing changes. As an example, when my horse cut open his leg we tried 3 times to get it to the point where we could suture it closed, and it just wasn’t happening. But by keeping it covered, it healed and there is only a tiny line scar. Not the fastest way to heal, but it healed, even in a ‘poopy’ environment, literally.

How to take care of poison ivy, oak or sumac after SHTF?

  1. Steer clear of areas where you know they grow.
  2. Cover up with closed shoes, socks, long pants, long sleeves, and gloves. Wash any clothes that come in contact with poisonous plants as soon as possible.
  3. If you get exposed, wash your skin with soap and warm water right away to get the plant’s oils off your skin. Some experts say that washing within the first hour may help limit the rash.
  4. Use a cold compress, calamine lotion, non-prescription hydrocortisone cream, or an antihistamine to ease itching.

How to make the decision whether to use antibiotics or not

If you fear an infection, and it seems to be spreading, I would use an antibiotic. Signs of a spreading infection are:

  • Redness
  • Smelly discharge, or increasing drainage of a wound
  • Pain that is not relieved by medication
  • Fever

If I were not able to distinguish what the bacteria was, I would probably use 2 antibiotics to get the widest possible coverage. So I would grab my nursing drug guide book, and find antibiotics that had the broadest spectrum of killing bacteria. Bactrim (Sulfa drug) and Augmentin (Cillin based antibiotic) would have the largest spectrum of coverage. But, you also need to know if the patient has any allergies to penicillin, or sulfa drugs, and if they do, you can’t use them.

You also have to be careful, because once you start treating an invading bacteria, you will also destroy the beneficial bacteria, and you may need to take steps to replenish that beneficial bacteria, with probiotics, etc. Fish antibiotics are a good alternative in a SHTF scenario.

What can be used for pain when a wound needs to be sewed up?

You can buy lidocaine gel, and you could put that on some 4×4 gauze, and apply it to the area to help numb it before you cleaned it, or sutured it closed. However, if there is infection present, no amount of numbing medication is going to help, it will still hurt, which is a good indicator you should NOT be suturing the wound closed. Also, unless the trauma just occurred, and if the wound has been open for over 4 hours, you should not suture it closed.

Also, as a side note, the fascination with suturing a wound closed seems to be a HUGE topic of interest. If you are thinking you should be suturing a wound, get the training first, or, you can always use butterflies, or steri-strips, as this will bring the edges of the wound together, and allow the wound to heal without suturing the wound closed.

Another thing that is a lot easier and quicker would be to use staples. This is super-fast, easy, and no knot tying, just boom, boom, boom, done! Just be sure to have a staple remover, so you will be able to remove the staples once the wound has healed.

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21 Prepper Skills You Can Improve This Weekend

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We’re in that strange part of the year where some days are nice and some days are too cold. If it’s a nice weekend where you live, you should get outside and practice some prepper skills. But even if it isn’t a nice weekend, there are plenty of skills you can practice indoors. One of […]

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AmeriGEDDON Movie Review

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Amerigeddon Movie ReviewThere has been quite a bit of buzz in the preparedness community about the new movie from Mike Norris (son of Chuck Norris) Amerigeddon. Unfortunately, it is only being released in 8 states, but fortunately ours was one of them.

If you haven’t heard about this movie, here is the basic plot and the video trailer.

A dire warning of a wakeup call of what might be our future when a globalist terrorist organization aligned with the United Nations disables the United States power grid with an EMP and institutes Martial Law.
It will take a dedicated family of patriots armed with strong survival skills and the remains of the Second Amendment to save America and reclaim its freedom.

From the Amerigeddon website:

“The fact that a recent poll showed a majority of Americans are enraged with the federal government points to a frenzy of unrest with the dictatorial way in which our country has been run,” said Norris. “My family has long been involved in protecting the rights of Americans. We are concerned about the future and and see this film as a call to action. We urge people to join us in theaters and show Hollywood and politicians that true patriots will fight for their rights and want to see their values represented on-screen.”

A collaboration between Norris and entrepreneur and writer Gary Heavin, AMERIGEDDON seizes on fact-based threats and asks the ultimate question, “What happens when government turns on the people it’s supposed to protect?”

Mike Norris recently did an interview with 4th Watch Radi talking about the movie and the challenges he faced. Click here and listen.

My Thoughts on Amerigeddon

Before going to see this movie I read some mixed reviews, but because this movie was banned in Hollywood and agents advised their clients not to be part of the movie I thought the bad reviews were a little unfounded.

With the limited resources available to Mike Norris he actually did a good job, and you could tell that if they had more to work with it could have been done much better. It did have that “low budget” feel to it, but considering it was basically blackballed by Hollywood, they did a very good job with what they had.

No Hollywood Nonsense: Like I said earlier, you are not going to see the sex and violence or the pop culture brainwashing you see in a typical Hollywood movie in Amerigeddon. The movie sticks to the story line and no one has complex issues with their sexuality.

Believe it or not there is no cussing, and no sex scenes in the movie. The closest they came to cussing was when one of the “domestic Terrorists” said “oh spit!” This could be another reason Hollywood wanted nothing to do with the movie.

Conspiracy theory, or Conspiracy Fact: The fact that this movie was banned in Hollywood only give the plot more credence in my opinion. Hollywood has no problem pushing the envelope when it comes to sex and violence, but when it comes to questioning our governments motives, they want no part of it…even if it is “fiction”

I personally think that there are other scenarios where an EMP is more likely, but that doesn’t mean this scenario is impossible to fathom. People probably thought the movie 1984 was unrealistic too, but we can see some of that playing out even today.

The Story Line: This movie stayed on point for the most part, and hit some good preparedness bullet points like OPSEC, Skills, Faraday cages, security, community and critical thinking.

The story was based around a group of people, and even though I was hoping for a little more about how people would react (the masses) the story takes place in the first couple days of an EMP and Martial Law being enacted. Hopefully there is enough interest in this movie for them to make a sequel, I think that would be a great movie.

CGI: The worst part of the movie was the CGI (graphics) but it wasn’t needed very much. The graphics were something like you would see in Sharknado, but I was willing to look past that considering the budget they had.

Final thoughts

If you go in expecting a Hollywood blockbuster you are going to leave disappointed, and some parts were a little unrealistic, but it is a movie after all. I’d say this movie lies somewhere in between American Blackout (very good) and the Collapsed (very bad)

With more financial backing the sequel to this movie could be great!

If you have ever seen a Chuck Norris movie you know those are not the greatest movies ever either, but he’s still Chuck Norris right? Because he is so passionate about this topic I can see Mike Norris following in his father’s footsteps and creating some pretty good movies in the future.

The good side of this being a limited release, is that it will probably be available on DVD soon. This is not a movie that you are going to want to put in your preparedness library, but it is worth watching if you go in understanding what it is, and what it isn’t.

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Prepping and Technology: The Pros and Cons

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Prepping and Technology The Pros and ConsWhen it comes to prepping we are constantly looking for ways to not only live, but thrive when the world as we know it comes to a screeching halt. Just because we are working on what to do when this technology is not available doesn’t mean we can’t take advantage of it while we can.

With prepping and technology come some pros and cons. On one side of the coin we have more access to information than any time in history, on the other side every big business and government agency is collecting as much information about us wherever they can.

While it is true that if you are online there is no way to be completely invisible, there are some things we can do to erase our online footprints, or at least minimize how much data these companies collect from us.

In this week’s show Lisa and I talked about some of the great resources we have available to us because of the internet, how we have handed over our rights to privacy in the name of convenience, and some ways to use these tools and apps as safely as possible.

SPP149 Prepping and Technology: The Pros and Cons

We talked about the book “Deep Web” in the podcast which I highly recommend which talks about how much we can do to protect our online privacy even if you are not so “tech savvy”.

Quite a bit of information on this page is from that book, but there is much more information in the book itself. The links and resources mentioned in the book make it well worth the $2.99 price.

Pros of Internet Prepping

On the internet we can literally learn anything we want about preparedness and survival we want. From apps on our cell phones, videos on YouTube, podcasts and a plethora websites and other online content, if we want to learn something we just need to search for it.

Later I will go through some of the ways we can safeguard ourselves on the internet, but here are some links I mentioned in the show about cellphones, apps and file storage.

30 Apps From Urban Survival Site: http://urbansurvivalsite.com/survival-apps/

More Apps From Geek Prepper: http://geekprepper.org/essential-smartphone-apps-for-preppers/

Even More Apps From USCrow: https://uscrow.org/2016/02/02/top-10-prepper-apps/

Ideas for Old Phones: http://www.smartpreppergear.com/6-ways-to-use-old-smartphones/

File Storage: In the article above they talk about using old phones for file storage, although you still need a way to charge it. I actually have an old phone I use for this purpose and have a small solar charger I will use to charge it if needed.

External hard drives: I have one of these as well, and if you want to save a bunch of prepping information without cluttering up your computer this is a great investment. For about $75 you can get 2TB of storage (1 Terabyte = 1,000 Gigabytes)

Google Drive: This is a decent option for file storage, but it does have a couple of downsides, first off being that you need internet access to get to them. The second is that you are putting that information “in the cloud” which Google has access to.

Personally I use Google drive for “noncritical” information like gardening, recipes and some bushcraft stuff. I keep all the important information, or information that could be held against me on my hard drive.

Cons of Internet Prepping

safe browsing habbitsOnline OPSEC: Everyone wants our information, And the internet has become the place where people shop. The internet has given these companies a way to collect your data and be super targeted to what they think you are most likely to buy.

The bigger problem come in when the alphabet agencies see how this information can make their jobs a whole lot easier, and decide that “for the good for the people” they also need this information.

As convenient as they are, smartphones are the most affective tracking device ever created. This doesn’t just include our location, but also our buying habits, interests and contacts.

Changing our habits is the first step. If we use the default settings on our browsers, are unwilling to sacrifice some of these conveniences or trust that “they” have our best interest at heart, we are only setting ourselves up.

Things might not be as easy when we tweak some of these settings, but it will be more secure. I personally have a small tablet I use for most apps, and 3 different browses on my computer which I use depending on what I am searching for…none of them are Internet Explorer!

Deep Web Secrecy and Security

Deep Web Secrecy and SecurityI found out about this book from Prepper Website and it really sheds light on what we can do about our privacy and security as preppers. Most of the information below can be found in the book, and this is just a brief overview of what the book covers.

If you are interested in implementing some of these techniques, do yourself a favor and get the book. This book goes through the basics of internet security as well as some of the more advanced techniques of using the deep web.

What are Cookies and Cache? These are an example of the very basic things we can do to secure our browsing, and all browsers have a way to delete them. A browsers cache is used to store your browsing history, and cookies can be used to track you around the web.

Not all cookies are necessarily bad, but they can be used maliciously. If you have ever been looking for something on eBay, and all the sudden you get served ads for the same product you looked at…that is cookies.

Online Quizzes: This is not from the book, but is very important to your privacy. Some of these quizzes that ask something like “what Star Wars character are you?” are just data mining.

These quizzes and even games of Facebook all make you give them access to your data before you can play.

The Big Players: One thing I learned from the book (and now seems completely obvious) is to stay away from the big players like Google and Microsoft. The bigger the company, the more likely the alphabet agencies are going to “request” information from them.

Alternative browsers: In the book it says to ditch Internet Explorer and I did that a long time ago. There are a couple of better, more secure browsers you can use that are just as good, or better.

The Firefox browser is far more secure, and the Comodo Ice Dragon browser is even better. In the book, he also goes through some easy browser setting and extensions you can use for these browsers to make them even more secure.

This includes Email: If you use Gmail, Yahoo or any of the large free email companies your data is getting stored somewhere just waiting to be accessed, and even you delete it from your inbox, it doesn’t get deleted from their servers.

Here is a link to some of the free email services available, and while they might still store your data, it is less likely they have the sophisticated storage systems the big guys have.

Tor Browser: Conrad talks about the Tor browser in the book, right now I don’t know enough about Tor to give it a thumbs up or thumbs down. The Tor browser is only necessary for completely secure and anonymous web surfing, and I won’t be using it until I know more about it.

My thought process is that this is where the hackers and whistle blowers hang out, and the alphabet agencies know that. Just the fact that I have used it might make them think I have something to hide and I’ll be added to yet another list.

Search anonymously: An alternative to the Tor browser is to search anonymously. There are search engines like AllNetTools and Guardster that are free, and even DuckDuckGo which is not exactly anonymous, but you will not be tracked all over the web.

Online Passwords: Another no no is to let your browser save your password for you. If someone gains access to your computer, they could also access your passwords. I use Dashlane which has both a free and paid version, but there a few others like LastPass and Sticky Password.

For some websites it’s not that critical to protect my passwords, but for banking, purchasing and social networks my password manager will auto generate passwords for me and I don’t need to remember what they are because they are stored.

Driving Without a License

Most people these days surf the internet without even understanding how easily their information can be compromised, to me this is like driving a car before you know how. If you hop into a car and start driving, and all you know is gas pedal, brake and steering wheel, bad things are bound to happen.

If you have any other ideas about how preppers can protect their privacy or some great tools we can use, I’d love to hear them. Just leave a comment below.

Dale Signature

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17 Lost Survival Skills Your Ancestors Had

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It’s one thing to prepare for a temporary disaster like an earthquake or hurricane. It’s a whole other thing to prepare for a long-term disaster that cripples the power grid, communication systems, and transportation networks. Without those, we’d basically be living in the 1800’s again. Back then things were very different. People were more hands-on. […]

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Is all my Prepping Just a Waste of Time?

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Is my prepping just a waste of timePrepping, Second Guessing and Self Doubt

Let’s admit it, we all have our doubts about preparedness at times. Not necessarily about how important preparedness is, but about what we are doing, why we are doing it and how we are doing it. ” at one point or another we have all had it.

With everything we do (not just prepping) we are constantly second guessing ourselves and looking for justification. Second guessing yourself is perfectly natural, and doesn’t mean you’re not taking preparedness seriously, it actually means you’re thinking critically about every situation in order to make the best decision possible.

There are so many variables when it comes to preparedness and survival, and so many articles and books to read, that it becomes important to ask “Is this a credible source?” and “Does this apply to me?”

In this week’s show Lisa and I talked about 10 of the most common questions we ask ourselves about prepping, and how second guessing is natural for all of us.

SPP148 Prepping: Second Guessing and Self Doubt

For more detailed information, make sure and listen to the show.

Am I ever going to use this stuff?

It’s fun to collect this stuff, but at some point we ask ourselves do I need this? Or could my money be better spent elsewhere.

The answer is both yes and no. Preparedness supplies are like life insurance to help us get through the hard times, but We need to use them and incorporate them into our daily lives, not just set them on a shelf

We also need to make good buying decisions by prioritizing, and Learning what you want (need) before you buy it. You don’t want to spend $200 on a survival knife everyone said you needed only to find out that a $100 knife would have been just fine.

Where am I going to put all this stuff?

Quite a few of us have limited space, and the more supplies we amass, the more cluttered everything gets. making organization a real pain…not to mention your spouse unhappy about your stuff being in every nook and cranny of the house.

Think outside the box and get creative. In the show we talked about hidden storage like a chest instead of a coffee table, creating storage space in closets and on walls, or even renting a storage unit to store some of your preparedness supplies.

Do I need to go all out?

If you pay attention to everything you read, there is so much to do that it’s almost impossible to be prepared for everything. On the other hand, we don’t want to get blindsided by something we didn’t expect.

The answer to this is that we can only do what we can do, and it really depends on your situation and your goals. Prioritize what threats you feel are the most important and set goals and take steps that fit into your budget to achieve your long term goals.

I don’t want my family to think I’ve lost it.

Everyone has their preconceived notion of prepping, before we dug into preparedness we probably had them too. Whether this is a family member, or a friend at work, everyone goes through something like this at one point or another.

The truth is prepping has become more accepted than it was a few years ago, so don’t just assume someone is going to label you “crazy.” Give them a chance to react (don’t make their mind up for them) and see where it goes from there.

Also, don’t start with gas masks and nuclear war, talk about some of the problems closer to home like job loss and natural disasters.

How can I justify buying stuff for prepping when I can barely pay my bills?

It can be tough to justify buying survival supplies when you need to keep the lights on and you are living paycheck to paycheck.

We have written a few article about ways to make extra money for prepping, and it doesn’t always mean getting a second job.

Another way to find some extra money for prepping is to pay attention to where your money goes. Most of us budget the big household bills, but pay no attention to what we spend on “extras” on a daily basis.

Last week I talked about my grandmother who was a lunch lady and had very little money. She lived through the depression and knew how to stretch every dollar. By making small purchases over time, she had around $20,000 in gold and silver when she passed.

I’m too old and feel like I can’t do what I need to.

This is a tough one, and a question I get all the time, and unfortunately there is no perfect answer. Age and physical limitations are something we just don’t have any control over, but that doesn’t mean we just give up.

We all have something to offer. In the podcast I talked about how my father in law is my most valuable resource. Not because of his physical ability, but because he knows how to build/fix just about everything. His knowledge is worth far more than is manpower to me.

Am I overreacting?

This is especially true for beginning preppers, am I just freaking out? Have I gone too far down the rabbit hole? From time to time we all second guess ourselves, and usually something brings us back to the fact that we are not overreacting…we are just aware.

My answer is that this might not be such a bad thing. we need to look at every scenario possible and plan for it. So even if it is a little overeating, it is necessary.

How do I tell the difference between fake and real?

There is a lot of misinformation out there it’s tough to figure out what’s real and fake. Unfortunately, there is big money to be made on playing on people’s fears, and we need to be vigilant about what information we give credibility.

Do your research and pick some websites you trust.  Websites like the Drudge Report and Prepper Website usually do a good job of vetting out the fear based article.

I wrote an article about fake prepper websites, and how to watch out for “fear porn” on the internet. The best thing you can do is get a second opinion, check around the internet and see if you can find more information about that topic.

Is it worth the stress thinking about this stuff?

Just because we look at all the negative aspects of life and society doesn’t mean we need to be negative people. Prepping actually give me a more positive outlook on life because I know I am doing everything I can to secure my future.

There are things we have control over, and things we don’t, we need to focus on what we can change…our own situation.

Just because an economic collapse concerns me doesn’t mean I live my life in fear, quite the opposite actually. I feel better about my situation because it won’t be nearly devastating to me as it will to others.

What would it be like if I went back to doing nothing?

In the show Lisa talked about the movie The Matrix and taking the red pill, once you know, you know and turning back means turning your back on problems you know exists.

I call this “the curse of knowledge.” Teenagers sometimes feel invincible because they don’t understand how dangerous certain situations are because they have never experienced them. Once they do, they tend to think a little more and are less carefree.

We could go back to doing nothing, and some people do, but we can never unlearn what we have learned, we can only put our heads back in the sand.

Dale Signature

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Making Great Soil for a Healthy Garden

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Making Great Soil for a Healthy GardenAs we mentioned in last weeks podcast, the spring has sprung and it’s time to get outside. In this weeks show we had the pleasure of talking to Brian who has over 30 years experience in the agriculture business. We discussed why making sure you have great oil, leads to a great garden and harvest.

Just a few years ago I barely knew the difference between soil and dirt, and this conversation with Brian shed even more light on the subject. We went through everything from plant rotation to composting in this podcast.

This is just a bullet point list that Brian wrote up for us, but make sure and listen to the podcast for detailed information on these topics.

SPP146 Making Great Soil for a Healthy Garden

Understand your food production area.

  • Different crops like
  • Take a soil sample and get a full soil nutrient test

Composting: this over time will help build organic matter

  • Plant material
  • Animal material
  • Food scraps
  • Coffee grounds
  • Anything that will rot and decompose

Managing you compost

  • Regular stirring and mixing
  • Add as much water as possible, and often

Know your soils and what they can do

  • This is where knowing how to read a soil test comes in

Difference between soil fertility & plant nutrition

  • Soil is effectively your bank account: there are resources there… just need a way to get them out.
  • Plant Nutrition is what the plant needs…It will always need more than the soil can supply throughout the season.
  • Adequate sunlight & water resources

Our soils have a pretty good base of nutrients…however the fact of soil chemistry has created lots of problem with the soils ability to release necessary nutrients required for plants to grow efficiently.

There are more nutrients in our soils than we know are there based on how we test it today.  Science and testing is getting better and is helping us as growers/producers whether commercially or personally learn how to work with what we have to make it better by using resources from someone like me.

There are many tools available in the marketplace that help our food production improve our yields, quality and storability.

Things like…

  • Seaweed extracts which contain many good PGR’s effects in soils and plants
  • Humic Acids
  • Commercial fertilizers
  • Homemade composts/mulches/compost teas, etc…
  • Commercial manure or home grown livestock manure.

In greenhouses & Hydroponics…

  • Look for good & clean potting soil mediums for your house crops
  • Good clean water & you can also mix up liquid nutrient solutions and slowly feed the plants by “IV”

Tips to Create Better Soils…

Brian also gave us a few good tips about creating good compost, soil amendments and soil structure.

Good Manure

  • Steer Manure
  • Poultry Manure – Chicken &/or Turkey
  • Hog/Pig Manure

Soil Amendments

  • Gypsum – Ca+SO4 (Wall Board/Sheet Rock)
  • Lime – Ca+CO3 (Epsom Salts)
  • These have some small effect on the ph in the short term.
  • In the long term they will help with overall soil structure and soil tilth
  • Humic Acids –

Soil structure improvement

  • Soils ability to hold more water
  • Helps improve soil biology – increases microbes growth and function
  • Healthier your soil the more earthworms there will be
  • Relieves and improves compaction
  • The darker the soil, generally the healthier the soil is
  • Great use of various mulch mixes

Woods Like Cedar, Cyprus…

  • Repel, inhibit insects like termites, cockroaches & certain ant species
  • Will take longer to decay

Straw

  • Can reduce insect populations & keep bugs like cucumber beetles, thus keeping them away from your cucumbers & squash plants.
  • Can also protect your plants from the spread of fungus & other diseases that can cause plant rot.
  • They will help suppress weeds & retain soil moisture
  • Reduce erosion due to wind & rain

Fertilizers

  • Good fertilizer products available at your local hardware stores.  Focus in on the P & K values and not so much the N.
  • Soil microbes do all the work…so a healthy dark moist soil is ideal.
  • Pretty much most of us are not blessed with this type of soil, so we have to do the best with what we have and make amendments work for us and thus – over time will make for some good vegetables & fruit.
  • A lot of our soils are “dead” because of what we do to them…
  • Home builders are notorious for creating “Dead” soils…they come in and clear away all the top-soil and remove it.  By the time the home is completed…all you are left with is the poor soil that was underneath all the good soil they removed to build.
  • Additionally, they are responsible for the tremendous amount of compaction done to your yard areas.

Cover crops in production areas are great ways to help build up your soils.

  • These help slow erosion
  • Provides green manure for the soils next crop
  • Also – deep rooted plants like turnips and radishes and Dikon Radish will help to open up compacted soils & provide a nutrient sink or source for your next crop.

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15 Survival Skills You’ll Need After The SHTF

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It’s not enough to have lots of supplies after the SHTF. Sure, they might get you through a temporary disaster like an earthquake or hurricane, but what if someone gets hurt? All the medical supplies in the world won’t help if you don’t know how to use them. […]

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Springtime Prepping and Planning

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Springtime Prepping and PlanningWhen the time changes, I start to get antsy for the longer sunny days that will be coming. After being cooped up in the house all winter long, there is just something so satisfying about being able to stay outside without a coat on that motivates me to get busy.

For those of us that live in cold weather states we get a little cabin fever this time of year, and also a little anxious to get out and get things done. Even if you live in one of the warmer states, these tips will be useful to keep your preparedness plans on track.

This week we talked about springtime prepping and planning, and how to stay motivated throughout the summer months. There are some things you just can’t do in the winter months, so it’s important to take advantage of the good weather while you can.

SPP145 Springtime Prepping and Planning

Get Outside and Exercise

This is really easy to do in April because we are all chomping at the bit to get outside. Use the spring and summer months to their fullest by going camping, working in the yard and even taking walks with your bug out bag on.

We talk about being “farmer strong” later in the article, and we need to be physically ready to handle life without all the modern conveniences. Taking hikes, or walking with your bug out bag on is important because you want to know how you will handle it if it becomes necessary.

Take Classes

Plant identification classes, wilderness survival classes, first aid classes and even heading out to the shooting range is a great way to sharpen or add skillsets to your preparedness arsenal.

Like we talked about in the prepper groups podcast, these classes are also a great way to meet people in your area that might be preppers themselves…or at least possible future preppers.

Plan a lights out weekend

This is a great way to test out your preps without the added weight of an emergency situation. It’s also a great way to open the conversation about prepping with family members that might not be completely on board.

Be careful how you approach this though. If someone in the house is completely against this you might want to shorten the length, or think about not shutting everything down at first.

Activities With and For Kids

Getting your children interested in prepping is easy when you do things that they enjoy. It’s actually easier to get small children interested than older children because older children have already formed some opinions.

Doing things like the boy scouts and girl scouts do are fun ways to open the dialog with children about how there is more to life than cell phones and video games. Getting them involved with your daily prepping chores also makes them feel involved and important.

Goal Setting

Setting goals might be the most important because if it’s in your face you are more likely to accomplish it. Like the saying goes “out of sight, out of mind”

Don’t make these goals too extreme, make them attainable. Set some small goals, some tougher goals and then some stretch goals that are going to be hard, but realistic with a little hard work.

Preparedness Plans List(s)

For me, the best place to start is with my handy dandy notebook! Start by making different lists of things you want to do this summer. You can categorize each list, or just make a huge list of what you would like to accomplish over the summer. By planning now, you will have a working list of projects to choose from throughout the spring and summer months.

The Garden

Right know the garden is taking all of my focus. We still have about 4 weeks before we can start planting outside, but that doesn’t mean I can be ready to go once all danger of frost has passed us. Dale can already begin working in his greenhouse (lucky dog) but I have to wait. So during the winter I was plotting and planning my garden beds, and how I will use them this year. Cleaning out the dead and decaying plant material as well as beautifying the garden itself are things I can do now while waiting. It’s also a good time to start some seeds inside, so I can get a jump start on my planting.

Also scouring my own seeds to know what I have, as well as ordering seeds from reputable sellers so I will have everything ready to go once the time has come to plant outdoors.

The Garage, aka The Workshop

You can be doing garage projects during the winter, but for me, it is a lot easier to organize and clean and work in the garage (my workshop) when I can keep the overhead door open. Also, our garage gets COLD, so I don’t really like working out there when the temperature outside is below zero. It isn’t any fun to work in the cold when I can see my breath, no thanks. So I make my plan of attack happen when the temperature starts to rise.

I start by opening the doors, and organizing the shelving units, and looking to see where I can make more space for camping gear, and I also rearrange my gardening equipment and outdoor tools, to take inventory of what I have, and what I will need.

By doing this before I need it, I will be able to make the most of my evenings and weekends without taking extra trips into town which would cut into my time to be working. And when thinking about trips into town, I try to do the planning so that when I do get a lunch while I am at work, I use that time to run to Home Depot, or wherever I need to go so I won’t have to make an unplanned trip once I am already at home.

I also make a list of different projects I want to complete over the next several months which include building a farmhouse dining room table, and building several sets of horse jumps in order to fund our prepping expenditures throughout the summer.

Family Vacations

While most people are planning family vacations to faraway places, ours are a little bit different. Instead of spending a lot of money to go really far, or making one vacation plan, we choose to explore the beautiful country we live in.

We will plan smaller weekend trips to places we can drive. We don’t have to worry about getting a hotel room, because we bring it with us. We were able to purchase a pop-up travel trailer for a steal, and fix it up. So now, we can go places and basically bring our hotel with us.

You also don’t need to really go that far away from home. Do a weekend nature walk, learn about what is in your area as far game, plants, and resources. Or you can take a weekend class in firearm training, or outdoor skills.

Rotating Preps

As the summer will go on, our long term food storage and home canned goods will need to be rotated as we add to it with freshly canned vegetables jams and fruits. So before we start canning like fools, it is good to know what we have, what we love, and what we have plenty of. This also goes into my gardening plan, so knowing what we have helps.

Now there are some things we won’t have a lot of control over, such as blueberries, apples and pears, because we plant those once, and they keep producing every year. But, by learning how to use the annual harvest will help. So learning new ways to use the prolific fruits and vegetables will add new recipes, as well as making us be able to use what we have every single year.

This is also a good time to start or add to your long term food storage with items from Legacy Farms, or Augauson Farms. Dedicate a small amount of money each paycheck to increasing your long term food storage, just in case.

Farmer Strong

This one is my favorite! I don’t know about you, but I HATE working out, or I should say I hate working out just for the sake of working out. However, I do LOVE being outside, and beautifying my yard, and playing in the garden, and working with my horses. So instead of going to a gym, I work out while I am doing things that will benefit me, or my family.

For example, my daughter bought me a Fitbit for a Christmas present. And I have a bunch of people that I compete with on a weekly basis to see who can get the most steps. I like it, because it makes exercising fun and adds some competition to the mix, I love it! But on the days where I basically only walk at work, I have to push myself harder than I do when I am doing chores around the house. Typically I will get around 10,000 steps a day, and I have to really work to make that happen. But on the weekends just by working in the yard or garden, I will get around 18,000 steps a day! That is huge!

And have you ever worked a piece of land for a garden, carried chicken or horse feed, or dug some fence postholes? It is hard work! You will use muscles you didn’t know you had. If you make a concerted effort to do this type of work on a daily basis not only will you get in shape, but you will get strong…farmer strong!

So make an effort to get your work out by doing things that have the added benefit of making you more self-reliant. You will get in shape in a fun way, and you will be saving money, you don’t need a gym membership to get in shape, just do things to benefit your home, garden or property and use the money you would have used for the gym, and put it back into your ‘homestead’.

Food Forestry, aka Permaculture

Instead of planting flowers in beds, plant food! You can have vegetable beds intermingles with flower beds. Plant herbs in pots. If you do plant flowers, be sure to use flowers that are beneficial to the bees, as well as having medicinal benefits such as lavender, peppermint or Echinacea.

If you are planting a tree or shrub, plant fruit trees and shrubs.  If you plant fruit trees, you will get the beauty of the tree, but also the added benefit of a harvest in the fall.

Bigger Goals

If you have never started a garden but wanted to, put it on your list. Thinking about raising your own chickens? Put that on your list too. Put things on your list that you don’t necessarily have to do, but would do if you had the time.  Here are some examples of what I put on my list:

  • Starting beekeeping
  • Redo the chicken house
  • Make my vegetable garden look like a garden in a magazine
  • Plant 5 fruit trees
  • Redo all flower beds to be vegetable beds
  • Repaint all garden beds
  • Build a root cellar
  • Build a farmhouse dining room table
  • Make vanilla
  • Make homemade Vick’s
  • Trim all tree branches for fire mitigation
  • Add 5 birdfeeders

This is why I like making lists so much. I add things to it, and eventually I end up getting it done! It is pretty inspiring to look back through lists that I thought were pipe dreams, and they are now a part of my everyday life. So inspire yourself, make some lists, and get planning for what you would love to be able to do this summer. You are only limited by yourself, so stop limiting yourself, and just do it!

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Prepper Groups: Form Your Own, or Join One?

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Prepper Groups Form Your Own, or Join OneI get this question all the time, and these questions have seemed to increase in the last couple of weeks, so I decided to tackle the subject of forming or joining prepper groups. I have been a little hesitant about this because there isn’t really a perfect solution, and quite a bit that goes into prepper groups other than what skills people have.

If you have never given this a second thought, you might want to read this article that Lisa wrote about what to look for with prepper groups. This article (and podcast) goes into detail about what makes a good group, and how to form your own or join a prepper group.

Prepper Groups: Form Your Own, or Join One?

While this article will go through what we talked about in the show, make sure and listen to it though, in order to get the full picture. Most of our listeners use their mobile phones while working or driving, but you can download it or listen from here if you like.

Joining a Group

The Waiting List: Ideally we would all love to join the best prepping group out there, but they are the best because they don’t just accept anyone. Good groups will be hard to join and are most likely going to be invite only.

Commitment Level: A couple other things to give quite a bit of consideration to is how serious is the group? How committed are you? And is the group the right fit for you. If all you want is a group of people to learn from and talk about prepping, don’t join a group that requires a big commitment.

Your Resume: Think of this like a job interview, what do you have to offer?  I’m not necessarily talking about supplies here; I’m talking about what skill set(s) you have that would be a contribution to a group.

Forming a group

This might be the most feasible option for anyone wanting to have a prepping group, and because of this we talked quite a bit about forming prepper groups in the podcast. There just aren’t that many good prepper groups to join, and some might just be a waste of time.

However: Even if the group doesn’t fit your needs, it might be a good place to meet another prepper that feels the same way, and you can create your own group with them.

The Snowball Affect: The advantage to forming your own prepping group is that all you need is one other person. After that, the two of you could work together and add more people that fit into what your ideas for the group are.

Expect to fail: When I say expect to fail I don’t mean expect the group to fail, I mean don’t expect everything to work out perfectly. This article from On Point Preparedness talks about why it’s tough to keep a group together.

Don’t be too hasty to make your decisions, It’s going to take time to get a feel for someone. Someone who seems like a great addition today could turn into a liability in the future. Learn how to read people and take all the time it takes to get to know them.

Other Groups and Interests: I’m going to go through some options to find preppers in your area online a little later in this article, but if you are leery of searching online (a lot of people are) you do have a few other options.

Find people with similar interests that might not be preppers by joining groups or classes. Prepping encompasses so many different areas that you are bound to find someone interested in bushcraft, First aid, gun clubs, ham radio etc. Put yourself in the right place at the right time, and you never know what will happen.

Right Next Door: Another option is getting to know your neighbors, although it is very unlikely they are preppers, you might be surprised. This is also important because in a SHTF situation you are going to be stuck with them being next door whether you like it or not, and if they know you, they are less likely to take advantage of you.

Online Prepping

Finding people to join your prepping group online might be the easiest way, but it is also the riskiest. As with anything online we want to be careful about what information we share, and as preppers we are extra careful about it.

Personally, I am more worried about people than the government. I know I’m on a few lists anyway, but a person with bad intentions, and my personal information can be more dangerous. To avoid this don’t give out too much information too soon. Make a fake profile and don’t add your address or phone number.

This article from the Survival Blog give a few options for finding groups (or people) online. One more time, OPERATIONAL SECURITY IS KEY! You never know who is on the other end of the conversation.

There are two aspects of prepper groups we need to think about, the groups we can join now, and the groups we will have in an emergency situation. Here are a few bullet points we talked about in the show…

Forming/Joining Groups now

  • Joining groups now gives you a head start.
  • Ability to learn skills that might be useful later.
  • Ability to practice and adjust your plans.

Forming Groups After

  • Like it or not, your friends and family are part of (or associated with) your group.
  • Some scenarios might dictate the need for you to accept and/or reject people and prepare for the consequences.
  • Start planning now how you would accept/reject people in different scenarios.
  • Each scenario will be different, it’s not always a Mad Max situation.

It’s going to be hard, and it might take some time, but if you really want to you can get a prepping group together. It all depends on how committed you are to having a prepping group. Just like anything else, if you want it bad enough, you will figure out a way to make it happen.

If you have any question or comments leave them below and we will be happy to answer.

The post Prepper Groups: Form Your Own, or Join One? appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.

Starting or Joining a Prepper Group

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Starting or Joining a Prepper GroupOnce you have been prepping for a while, or even when you are just getting started, you may have considered joining a group of like minded individuals or a prepping group. But, you probably have a lot of questions regarding this. After all, those of us who prepare tend to like to keep to ourselves, and don’t really want to ‘share’ all of our information with others, especially if we do not know them very well.

On the con side, joining a group can make you vulnerable, and if the group is not well organized, could put you at risk to become a target in case of a SHTF situation. The pro side is that if you have a strong group, there truly is safety in numbers, and in a bad situation, your group can offer safety, confidence, and a united front against who or whatever may try to take your preps.

But how do you get started? Where do you begin your search to find likeminded people? How do you keep your family and your preps safe? What happens if there is a falling out in the group? Hopefully I will be able to provide some information here that might help in your search of a prepper group.

Please keep in mind though you will need to have your own vetting process. Just like any relationship or group of people there are bound to be confrontational moments, and problems will happen, but a strong group of people can maneuver through these challenging times, and come out stronger. But just like anything worthwhile, it will take hard work on the part of all members, including you.

Things to look for in a prepper group

  1. A strong leadership team

This is the most important part, in my opinion, of a group. The leadership team, or leader needs to be strong and stable. If the leadership is only half-heartedly into it, the members of the group may be the same.  The leaders need to be able to motivated the people of the group, and organize the activities.

They should be able to do this very well now, because in an shtf scenario when all hell is breaking loose the group needs to have leadership that will keep people calm and focused. A great leader is someone who people look up to, and is also willing to partake in the hard work necessary to keep the group moving forward. The leader needs to be someone you trust implicitly, because that will trickle down through the entire group.

  1. Likeminded Members

Look at the people in the group. Do they hold the same values as you? Are they hard working like you, or are they basically joining a club? The people in the group need to be able to work together, and everyone needs to work hard on a daily basis in order for the group to be successful. We are all individuals with our own strengths as well as weaknesses, but finding the right group of people that works together, and everyone contributes to the group in their own unique way will make it a strong and diverse group.

  1. Organization

A well organized group in essential. There should be rules in place that everyone is expected to adhere to. A well thought out plan that has been written down is a must. When you first get into the group, there should be guidelines provided to you explaining what is expected of you. This could be broken down into specific areas such as food storage, skills, security, etc. Don’t expect to get all of the information at once. You may need to be vetted to make sure you are who you say you are. If you do not get all of the information at one time, don’t be offended, be impressed. This shows that the group is serious about who the let in, and once you have gained their trust, and they know you are serious, you will be let in. However, if the group gives you every piece of information on every single member of the group before you even decide to join, you may want to rethink that group. Because once you are a part of it, all of your information may be available as well. So security and privacy is an important consideration before you totally get into a group.

  1. Security and Safety

This is what I mentioned earlier. The group needs to be safe, and secure for all. This means whatever the group divulges to you in the beginning, they are divulging your information to future members as well. You need to know how much information they are giving, and why. In my opinion, a good group will release information once you have met certain requirements. This will mean you will need to trust in your group to provide information on a need to know basis.

Operational Security, This is a really big deal!

Think about how easy it is for hackers and criminals to get information or fish for information on the internet. Now let’s say that someone approaches you to join their “group”, and in order to do so, they need to have all of your information up front, and they want to know everything about your preps and your plans. If you don’t really know who is requesting this information, you could be setting yourself up. SO always remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Do not give out all of your information upfront right away. Be smart about what you share, and always make sure you know who you are really dealing with. I hate to be paranoid, but if things get really bad really fast, there will be those that only want to capitalize, and if they can get what you have, they will. So always put you and your family’s safety first, and only give information on a need to know basis, and only if you have established a relationship with the group.

If you cannot find a group in your area that meets all of the above criteria, it may be best for you to start your own group. If this is something you feel you would like to do, first make sure your preps and plans are in place, and then start to create a list of what you would like in a perfect prepper group. What type of people would complement your group? What skills would be important for you to add? What are your own criteria for new members to join? Look at the four topics mentioned above, and think about that for your own group.

Write down everything, and come up with a plan.

A good place to start is with people you already know. Do you have friends and family members who have potential, but just need a little more motivation? You can groom them for it, if they will be an asset to your group. Over time, and them listening to you talk about raising your own chickens, and working your garden, and how much better fresh food tastes, you will probably motivate them to do it too. You would be surprised.

I make no secrets to my friends, family, and co-workers about what I do, and then I let them take part in the bounty by bringing them fresh eggs, fruits and vegetables. I don’t charge them for it, I just share with them, and they love it. 4 years ago, I was a crazy doomsday prepper in their eyes, but now they get it.

These are people I really KNOW, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I trust these people, and they trust me. Out of this group of people, over 90% of them are now doing things to become more self-reliant, and do for themselves. People I never dreamed would be out working a garden are doing it. Two more are raising their own chickens. And on more than one occasion, we have discussed the state of the economy, and if things get bad what the plan will be.

Two of my favorite questions to ask these people when they approach me and say in an SHTF situation they are coming to my house, I always ask them, what skills will you be bringing with you? What do you have that will benefit the group? Half the time they are saying it jokingly, but I can see they are seriously considering my questions, and they are coming up with their own plan.

So to get back to starting your own group, I would suggest you to ask each prospective member:

  1. What skills will you be bringing to the group?
  2. What do you have to offer that will benefit this group?
  3. What do you expect to get out of the group?

By asking these simple questions, you will be able to asses if these potential members will be a benefit to your group.

Finding a group of people to be in a group will be a lot like extended family. And just like any relationship, it will take time and dedication to nurture the relationship so that it will thrive, just like you want your group to do. So take the time to determine what is best for you and your situation. Invest the time into it, and you will have a thriving group of like minded souls.

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Prepping With Children: Getting The Interested

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Prepping With Children: Getting The InterestedIt is a perfectly fine, pleasant Tuesday evening. You are playing with your children in the park. Your son is climbing up to the slide while your daughter is whooshing in the air on the see saw. A perfect day until an Earthquake strikes! One minute, this one minute will be changing your entire world. Your evenings may never be this perfect again.

When we are in our happy moments we never realize that they may never last forever. It is always good to be prepared for the worst, to be prepared for survival in situations filled with despair. As adults, survival for you may not be this big of a challenge as opposed to your young children in the same situation. As elders, parents and guardians it is our duty to prepare our children- teach them how to survive. The question however is, how to prepare them?

Stay Calm

Children can sense the urgency in a parent’s tone. Take survival preparation seriously but let it not scare your children. If they are scared they might not pay attention to your instructions or be involved the way you want them to be.

Make it Engaging

To gather the interest of children it is important to keep them involved. Involvement for kids comes in the form of fun. You can make prepping fun for your kids by starting a prepping story. Build a story where they get to be the characters. Put forward survival challenges and show them how to succeed.

Let them know where to head to incase things go wrong. You can also the kids for a weekend in the woods, a family trip. In this camping trip show them how to connect with their surroundings, look for food, learn to fish and learn to hunt. Kids of today are dependent on technology. On this trip show them what life without technology is. Engage them in maps and compasses!

Prepare a first aid kit and teach them how to tackle small emergencies such as cuts and falls. Moreover, find survival books for children and discuss stories such as that of Robinson Crusoe. These stories and books will inspire them. Hear them out. Talk to them. Listen to their fears and comfort them. Their opinions may give you some ideas too.

Let Them do Some Storage and Cooking

When you head out to the store to shop for your survival food storage, take them along. Let them select the food. Foods such as dried food, vegetable powders, fruit powders are survival essentials, tell them why they are important. One of the best ways to store food is to grow vegetables and fruits in your back yard.

Involve them in the gardening so that they know why that this is their essential to survive. Moreover, involve the kids in cooking too. Teach them recipes that are easy so that they can survive on their own when need comes. However, do not assign everything to them. Take it slowly. Too many responsibilities may push them away.

Let Them Master the Art of Hygiene

Germs and bacteria are harmful species that affect humans. Children are more prone to them due to their weak immune system. In survival situations getting sick can be harmful.

The best way to prevent falling sick is to take care of hygiene and sanitation. Talk to children about the importance of hygiene, the importance of washing hands, showers, why towels should not be shared, why using sanitizers is Important, wiping themselves,  teach them about the skills to use a public bathroom and other such skills.

Healthy children can survive germs. However to be healthy, children must know why hygiene is emphasized on.

While preparing your children, you have to realize that you job as a parent is not over. While they prepare for survival, you have to make the necessary arrangements for them too.

Food

Children have a different dietary requirement. Look at your children and store the food that you think will be the most important for them. For infants stock up formula milk as a mother may not be able to breast feed her child all day. For growing kids stock powder milk, dried fruits and organic food.

The stock you have may deplete thus you should know how to hunt, fish and gather so that with your assistance the children can survive.

Water

Water is essential to survival. Staying dehydrated is very important. While preparing for survival make sure you have stored water enough to sustain you and the kids. Storage bottles are very handy for this job.

Pack Emergency Kits

As parents, it is your job to pack their emergency kits that will ensure their survival. Pack their clothes, blankets, one of their favorite toy (so that they feel safe), medicines and other such important tools. Carry cards or board games so that they have something to stay entertained. Also give them communication devices and radios so that they can be aware.

Having a family is the best feeling in the world, but imagining them in tough times can tear you apart. You cannot stop something wrong from happening but you can equip your loved ones with the power to tackle such situations. This power only comes from preparation. Hence to survive, teach them to how to prepare!

“This article was contributed by James Smith, an avid prepper with a passion for self-protection at all levels”

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When your Prepping Plans Hit a Road Block Part 2

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When your Prepping Plans Hit a Road Block Part 2This week’s show notes are going to be a little short this week. Because I have been so busy building a fence, working on the Academy and email list and a few other things. I am literally writing this right before I hit publish the publish button.

Some of you might even be saying “that’s fine with me!” haha. So anyway, here you go…

Last week Lisa and I went through a few things like operational security, situational awareness and the government, you can listen and read that one here.

This week we finish things off forgetting about the small stuff and overall mental attitude.

SPP142 When your Prepping Plans Hit a Road Block Part 2

Like I said, the show notes are kindof thin, but we go through much more detail in the show.

Putting All Your Eggs in One Basket

There are a couple different areas where this could be a factor. Storing everything in one place, and only thinking about 1 area of preparedness at a time.

If someone were to come take what we have, they will only get part of it if it’s stored in different places, and if we have a year’s worth of food and no water, our year’s worth of food is worth about 3 days.

Forgetting the Little Things

When you are prepping, you will focus on many different areas, with the main area of focus being food, water, shelter, and weapons. Don’t get so focused on one area that you forget about the others.

If you have three years’ worth of food, but no way to defend it, you will become a target. What about sanitation? Or how about your long term financial situation?

What if you have a tone of supplies, but you have been neglecting your job, or your bills? If you don’t have a roof over your head?

Being prepared doesn’t mean just having a lot of stuff. Preparedness takes place in all aspects of your life. Try to stay well rounded in all areas of preparedness.

The emotional component….

…The Five Stages of a Disaster

This is actually taken from the five steps of grieving, but grieving does not only have to be about losing someone you love. The grieving process can be related to everything, because it is how you grieve no matter the situation. The steps you will go through:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

In an emergency or SHTF situation you will go through all of these processes. Start learning how to recognize these things now, and have a plan of how you will deal with these emotions when they arise.

The STOP Acronym stands for Sit, Think, Observe, Plan. You can read more about that and the psychology of survival here.

The SURVIVAL acronym: Read more about this here.

the Acronym SURVIVAL

The S.W.O.T. Analysis includes taking a look at your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunity’s and Threats. I wrote a full article on this titled Does Your Preparedness Plan Include and a S.W.O.T. Analysis?

Sun Oven Webinar

On the evening of 23rd of March we will be doing a live webinar with Paul the CEO of Sun Oven International. If you would like to register for this webinar you can do so here.

Even if you are just interested in what the Sun Oven can do you will want to watch, it really is a great option for grid down cooking.

Precision Holster/Tac-Bar Giveaway

There is only a couple weeks left in this month’s contest, so make sure and get your entries in here.

If I forgot anything I mentioned in the show let me know in the comments below, I’ll add them in.

Thanks,

Dale

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8 Ways to Handle Prepping Objections

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8 Ways to Handle Prepping ObjectionsWe take for granted what we know about preparedness that others don’t, like the living off the land fallacy, or the government not coming to help in a large scale crisis, or even something as simple as how much water we need to survive.

The more we learn about prepping, the more it just makes sense, but to most people prepping is seen as unnecessary, and a waste of their precious time. Because the only information they have is from the mainstream media, they dismiss prepping as extreme, and think only paranoid crazy people live like that.

Unfortunately, this leaves us with 2 choices. Try to explain to them why shows like doomsday preppers is almost a fictional as a Disney movie. The other is to end the conversation all together, because there is no reason to beat a dead horse.

Each person, for one reason or another has their reasons for not wanting to prep. It could be a simple as not wanting to get labeled a prepper, to not wanting to face their fears. Here are a few objections to prepping you might hear, and then after that how different people might react in a crisis.

SPP137 8 Ways to Handle Prepping Objections

In this week’s podcast Lisa and I went into much more detail about handling prepping objections than I could put in one article. Make sure and listen when you are done reading, or listen on your mobile device.

It’s Ridicules and a Waste of Time!

Objection: It’s interesting that as Americans we have both the highest amount of preppers in the world, and at the same time, the highest quality of life. Those who don’t see what’s going on (or don’t want to) have become complacent, and complacency leads people to say…

“nothing is ever going to happen, and if it does I’ll get through it like I always do.” Or even “If something happens, I don’t want you want to live like that?”

Solution: This might be the easiest objection to overcome of them all, because the answer is pretty simple. Not every disaster involves the collapse of society, most disasters are small scale and can affect anyone, at any time.

Talk to them about natural disasters before you even think about talking about a nuclear attack. Most people have the preconceived notion that preppers will be hiding in their homes and shooting anyone who comes to the door in a crisis.

While this might be true in some scenarios, in most scenarios, such as natural disasters, most preppers will probably be the first to help.

That’s Why We Pay Taxes.

that's why I pay taxesObjection: Wouldn’t it be nice if this were true. As preppers we know this is just not true, but most people who are spoon fed from the mainstream media blindly follow this mentality. The truth is that even though the government says it has my best interests in mind, their idea of “my best interests” and mine are two different things.

Solution: The government (state or federal) just doesn’t have the resources available to handle any large scale disaster scenario events like hurricane Katrina, and even the Colorado floods a few years ago illustrate this perfectly.

By depending on the government you are almost reserving a spot in a FEMA camp near you, and you will be at the whim of what they decide your best interests are. Even if he government comes in to help. How long will it take? And what will you have to go through in the process?

It’s Too Overwhelming

Prepping is Too OverwhelmingObjection: When someone first gets interested, or introduced to the idea of preparedness it can be scary, and overwhelming at the same time. This is a natural reaction that most of us have probably been through, and still going through to some point.

Solution: Be empathetic and let them know that you have been there and done that, but it does get easier. There is a lot that goes into prepping, and it can seem pretty overwhelming, but so is learning a new language or building a house, yet it happens every day.

I Can’t Afford Prepping

Objection: If we made a list of all the prepping supplies we needed or wanted to have, we would probably have to take out a loan. Sometimes it’s hard enough to pay the monthly bills we already have, so how in the world am I going to afford all those supplies.

Solution: This answer goes hand in hand with being overwhelmed, and the following statement comes to mind. “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” We can only do what we can do, and we need to become ok with that.

If we focus on our budget and pay attention to where our money is going, almost everyone can find extra cash to use for prepping. There are also some ways to make a few extra bucks to increase our prepping budget.

God Will Take Care of Me

Objection: I have nothing to worry about because God is going to take care of me is something I hear quite often. With peoples preconceived notions of prepping, it can seem to go against Christian values, but this could be further from the truth.

Solution: God gave us freewill for a reason. As parents if we gave our children everything they wanted, and they never had to live through hard times, they would be spoiled and unprepared for daily life. We learn from our mistakes and the challenges we face through life.

There are many examples of God telling people to prepare for something in the Bible, and when God gives you a warning, you better listen. Imagine what would have happened if Noah just said “God will take care of us.”

I Just Don’t Have Time for Prepping

I Just Don’t Have Time for PreppingObjection: Today’s society is not as simple as it used to be. With all we have to do it’s hard sometimes to fit more in our already busy schedule.

Solution: When my children tell me they didn’t clean their room because they were too busy I tell them “If I gave you $100 could you figure out how to get it done?” We can find an excuse for anything, and it’s amazing what we can do when we are properly motivated. By the way, I don’t actually give them $100, I just use this to illustrate a point.

If we enjoy doing something we can always find time for it in our schedule. There is so much involved in prepping that someone is bound to find something they enjoy, which might be what gets the ball rolling.

I’m Coming to Your House

Objection: I hear this all the time, and sometimes it upsets me because I hear “You are doing all the work, why do I need to?”

Solution: Even though I would like to tell them how ridicules they sound I just tell them that I’m willing to help them get prepared now, but when the S hits the fan, there will be no vacancy at my hotel. I also ask them how they plan on getting here? It won’t be as easy as your daily ride to work.

My Family Will Think I’m Crazy

My Family Will Think I’m CrazyProblem: Because of people preconceived notions, their first reaction is almost always labeling you a doomsday prepper, and when you approach your spouse about prepping they will think you are off your rocker.

Solution: Don’t start a conversation talking about EMP’s or nuclear disasters you want to prepare for, that conversation will go nowhere fast. Start by explaining how preparing for natural disasters or terrorist attacks, and it’s not all about doomsday, or the end of the world.

I Don’t Have Anywhere to Put All That Stuff

Objection: Quite a few of us live in smaller homes or even apartments, and because of this our storage space is limited. This becomes especially challenging when your spouse is not on board, and they don’t want your “prepping stuff” all over the place.

Solution: If your spouse is not on board with prepping I would start with having a conversation to find some middle ground about what you can, and cannot do, believe me, this will save you problems down the line.

If your space is limited you have a couple of options, the first is to build, or utilize some usable space in your home. This could mean finding space in closets, under beds or building storage space. If all else fails, you could even rent a storage locker to put your prepping supplies in.

Speak To Their Listening

Remember that when you are talking to someone who has no idea about preparedness they are not going to understand things the way you do. Sometimes what we think that something is common sense, but to others who have not learned about prepping is new information.

Make sure you approach the conversation in the right way and speak to their listening. The last thing you want to do is shut them down, because then you will seem like you have lost your mind.

Do you have any prepping objection that I didn’t cover here? Leave a comment below and let me know.

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Getting Old Sux! Managing Expiration Dates

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Getting Old Sux Managing Expiration DatesWhen we think about expiration dates we all think about our food storage, you might have even thought that this article was going to be all about food expiration dates. While food might have the lowest expiration date, and it is important, there are a few more supplies we need to pay attention to, including our own expiration date.

The reason I titles this post “Betting Old Sux! And Managing Expiration Dates” is because no matter how hard we try to be completely prepared, supplies expire, our family makeup changes, our health changes as we get older and life seems to throw us the unexpected at the worst possible times.

Managing expiration dates and changing plans is all part of the game. Whether you are talking about disaster planning, or fixing a broken window, if we can’t get that stuff figured out now while times are good, we have no hope when help is not on the way.

Expiration is inevitable, even the sun and earth will expire someday. Expiration is a fact of life, and a part of prepping we just have to deal with.

This double edged sward leaves you with 2 options, the first is to wait as long as you can before you buy something, hoping nothing happens before you get to it. The second choice (and smart one) is to purchase these supplies, and pay close attention to rotation and inventory.

This week in the show Lisa and I talked about everything from food storage to medical supplies, and how to maximize their shelf lives.

SPP133 Getting Old Sux! Managing Expiration Dates

Food Storage: Everyone has their own method of inventory and rotation, but I can tell you from experience that the more food you store the harder it is to keep track of. This is especially true for canned goods because they tend to hide in the back corners of your cabinets.

This article has an inventory worksheet you can download, and this article explains the different types of food storage and techniques, from canned food to long term food storage.

How you Store Your Supplies: When we think of expiration dates we tend to think about food, but proper storage also plays a role in how long our other supplies last. Temperature, humidity and time are all enemies of our supplies, make sure they are cleaned after use, and stored properly to extend their lifespan.

Fuel and Cars: Hopefully you know about how important fuel storage is, if you don’t this article will explain everything about rotation and fuel additives. It’s not just important to store extra fuel, it’s important to do regular maintenance on our vehicles because you don’t want it to break down when you need it most.

Home Maintenance: There might come a day when the handyman will be gone and fixing something is not just a phone call away. Learning how to do some of these tasks yourself will not only help in a SHTF situation, you might even save a few bucks along the way. There are also other DIY prepping projects you can do to learn new skills and save some money.

General Supplies: There are so many other prepping supplies that at one point or another are going to need replacing. Water filters, air filtration masks and batteries will only last so long, so we need to know how to extend their lifespan, and know how to survive without them.

Medical Supplies: This one really gets me because medical supplies are not cheap, but they are absolutely necessary. Prescription medications, OTC Medications (over the counter) and even Band-Aids all have an expiration date and will need to be replaced. While we can “push” the expiration dates with some of these, they lose their potency and effectiveness over time.

Our Health: Our own expiration date is the most important of all expiration dates. Not only because if we are dead none of this matters, but also because if we are not healthy it makes everything else harder on us and everyone around us.

By eating right, exercising, and paying attention to what our bodies are telling us, we can hopefully increase our expiration dates, and increase our ability to do certain tasks that might be necessary…although nothing in life is guaranteed.

Our Family & Our Plans: Like it or not even the best plans are going to change over time. As our family gets older, as our family structure changes and as our financial situation changes, so will our plans. A disaster preparedness plan that took hours of planning and works perfectly now, might not work so well in a year from now. We need to be able and willing to pivot and change our plan how our situation dictates.

Money: One thing we weren’t able to get to in the show was managing our money. You might not think about money having an expiration date, but depending on our bills our paychecks only last so long. You can spend money wisely, you could save money by using coupons and there are even a few ways to make a little extra cash for prepping.

Also From the Show…

I have mentioned the Back to Basics Bundle a few times over the last few weeks, and it’s finally here…almost. This is set to be released for sale on the 18th and will only be available for 7 days.

You can sign up for the 15 day challenge (free) and also get email updates when the package goes on sale. This package is huge, and a great deal!

Tac Bar Contest and Review

tac bar ammo canI have been working with Aaron from Expedition Research on a monthly contest for the Tac-Bar Bug Out Box which includes…

  • 12,500 Calories
  • 10 Aquatabs (10 liters)
  • Zero Preparation
  • 4 Quarts Volume

On the website they state that there is no other ready-to-eat food ration as fortified with what your body requires to survive and perform at its peak, whatever your mission.

I will be doing a review on this shortly, and I can’t wait to share my results. Aaron is also the person responsible for the Apollo-Tactical compound bow that we just gave away, and the one I have that I absolutely love!

The Colony on ABC

In Tin Foil Hat Time, we talked about a new show from the USA network called Colony. Here is the trailer for that show, and it looks great!

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Why Bugging Out is More Complicated Than You Think

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Why Bugging Out is More Complicated Than You ThinkOver the next couple of weeks Lisa and I are going to dig deep into bugging out and everything that it involves. Having a good bug out plan is more complicated than you might think, and requires more than just having a full tank of gas and space in your trunk to put your bug out bag.

We already went through why you would want to bug out in the first place in this article, and the reason is pretty simple, because you might not have a choice. For most of us this is a worst case scenario because nobody wants to leave everything they have and basically become a refugee.

In that article I also added a video that is included in the bug out course at the Survivalist Prepper Academy that goes through what needs to be considered when you are doing your bug out planning such as…

  • Getting Family Together
  • Timing
  • Route Planning
  • Getting Separated
  • Avoiding Refugee Routes
  • Outside Communication
  • The Mob Mentality
  • Expect the Unexpected
  • And Be the Gray Man

Also included in the video is the process I use to plan my bug out route and some of the differences to think about if you live in an urban or suburban area vs a rural area.

SPP129 Why Bugging Out is More Complicated Than You Think

Before You go Anywhere

You might hear all the time about why bugging out just makes you a refugee and leaving everything you own is just insane. The reality is that like it or not you might not have a choice.

By definition it would make you a refugee, but with proper planning it wouldn’t be the vision we have in our heads of hundreds of people lined up to cross a border or enter a FEMA camp. The reason a good bug out plan is necessary is to avoid these situations at all costs.

Let’s take a look at some of the areas that need to be considered when formulating a good bug out plan.

The Realities of Bugging Out: We are going to face a lot more problems than we expect when we bug out, and depending on your situation you will have your own challenges. Our age, our health, our family makeup, our family’s health and finances will all play a role.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that this will be just like an extended camping trip. In reality it will be more like living like the homeless than camping.

No one really knows what this situation will look like because there are so many variables, from the degree of the disaster scenario, to your physical abilities and family makeup.

Timing: In the video I mentioned above I talked about how timing is critical. This is even more important in an urban area because your window of opportunity will be very small. Having as much information about how a situation is developing (or could develop) could give you valuable minutes to keep you one step ahead of the masses.

Planning and practice also decrease the time it would take to bug out because if you know what the process is, and you know where everything is, you won’t be running around like a chicken with your head cut off.

How Will Family Members React? We will talk about this a little more below but some preppers are the lone prepper of the household. If someone has plugged their ears anytime you mention prepping, the odds are they are going to freak out a little bit…or a lot.

Some people handle stress better than others, so as the lone prepper it’s up to you to figure out who is going to need more attention or help. The best case scenario would be that even though they didn’t want to hear anything about it, they did listen, and at least know the basics of bugging out.

What Obstacles Will You Face? While it’s impossible to know exactly what could put a kink in your plans thinking about the different possibility’s today will prepare you for if it does. Riots, road blocks (natural or manmade), marauders and weather could become hurdles you need to cross to get to your bug out location.

Always have a plan B, and Plan C. What would you do if a group of armed gunmen were blocking your route? What would you do if the road you planned on traveling was congested and impassible because of abandoned vehicles?

Plan on Setbacks: A well thought out game plan always looks good on paper, but rarely does it turn out that way. Murphy’s Law states “”Anything that can go wrong, will… at the worst possible moment.”

This is why it’s important to learn and think about everything we can about bugging out, even though a band of marauders might seem a little farfetched, it need to be given some consideration. As they say “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”

Getting Unwilling Family Members to Listen?

Prepping – Getting Your Loved Ones On BoardOne of the questions I get all the time about bugging out and preparedness in general is “how do I get my family to listen?” Because everyone is different, and every relationship is different, there is no perfect answer for this.

In the podcast we talked about how to approach different people and different personalities about preparedness and the importance of not completely turning them off to the subject. I also wrote about getting your loved ones on board in the past.

Family Communications: Before, During and After

In today’s world, and as our children grow up, our families are rarely all in the same place at the same time. With the very real possibility of cell phone service being down or overloaded we need to have other means of communication.

Planning a rally point is especially important in the beginning stages of any disaster scenario because ham radio, GMRS and CB radios just don’t have the range to communicate over long distances.

These radios will come in handy on your bug out route though. For instance, if you have a group traveling in 3 separate cars you can communicate with each other if you get separated.

They will also come in handy at your bug out location. You will have people out foraging or hunting, have people out checking the perimeter, or have people out looking for supplies. Being able to communicate is important for safety reasons as well as efficiency reasons.

Practice Makes Perfect…Probably Not

As I said before, practice is crucial to your success, but don’t expect everything to go perfectly, as a matter of fact practice what you will do if your plan falls apart. Practice may not make perfect, but the more we practice bugging out, the better our chances.

Lisa and I also discussed in the podcast the challenge of practicing if you are the only one in the house who feels it’s important. This is definitely a tough situation, and even if you can’t get them to practice on a regular basis, once or twice is better than nothing.

Tin Foil Hat Time: FEMA Camps

In the tin foil hat time segment we talked about why FEMA camps could quickly get turned into detention camps and why we want to avoid them at all costs.

As preppers we have the benefit of knowing exactly how this will turn out, and while the sheeple will be piling in waiting for help to come, we will be helping ourselves.

The post Why Bugging Out is More Complicated Than You Think appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.

A Preppers Food Storage: One Sizes Does not Fit All

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A Preppers Food Storage One Sizes Does not Fit AllWhen it comes to a preppers food storage, one size does not fit all. We all have certain limitation whether that be financial or storage space. Our list of what we feel like we need to have, and our list of what we actually have can be to entirely different things.

Storage space is something we can overcome with a little critical thinking, but not having the funds for food storage can put a kink in our preparedness plans.

In this article we are going to go over a few of the different methods of storing food, and not wasting money on food because of improper storage or loss caused by expiration.

Saving Money on Your Food Storage

Store What you Eat: You probably hear this all the time, but if you don’t want to waste money on food storage it is good advice. If your family doesn’t like peas, just because canned peas are on sale doesn’t mean you should buy them. A good deal can turn into wasted money down the line.

Keep in mind that some sacrifices will have to be made, refrigerated foods and foods with short shelf lives will not be around for long in a disaster situation. There are some alternatives that we will go over below, but nothing beats the real thing.

Make a list of what foods you eat all the time, the foods you eat occasionally and the foods you rarely eat.

Proper Food Rotation: Everyone has their own method of doing this, but I can tell you from experience that the more food you store the harder it is to keep track of. This is especially true for canned goods because they tend to hide in the back corners of your cabinets.

I usually do inventory twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring, as well as trying my best to keep everything rotated the whole time. I use this worksheet  that you can download that helps me keep track of what I have, what I need and what I need to use soon.

First in First Out: The way I recommend rotating your food storage is just like the grocery stores do it, first in, first out. This can be a little easier said than done because the more food you store the more complicated rotation becomes.

Canned goods are especially hard to keep rotated, but you can make it a little easier on yourself if you buy a couple of these can organizers. There are even quite a few DIY ideas that you can use.

Food Storage Shelf Lives: Food doesn’t have to have a shelf life of 25 years to make it good for storage, foods that have a shelf life of less than a year can be ok for food storage as long as it’s properly rotated.

How you store your food is just as important as rotation, this article explains how to properly store foods for maximum shelf life, and this article explains the shelf life of some common foods.

Look for Bargains: Once you know which foods you want to store the most of, and you have your inventory system figured out you can start to look for sales or bargains on that food. Most people wouldn’t see the point of buying 15 cans of corn when they are on sale, but as preppers this fits perfectly into our plans.

Lisa and I recently did a podcast with Traci about prepping and couponing. We also talked about some other ways to save money prepping in that show like using Ebates when you make purchases online.

Different Food Storage Methods

When it comes to prepping and food storage, one size does not fit all, we all have different limitations and different reasons for prepping. Some people just don’t have the space to store 5 gallon buckets, and some people might not even want to.

There are quite a few food storage methods to choose from, and it doesn’t need to be one or the other. Lisa and I have a little of everything listed below.

Pantry Foods

Pantry foods are what you buy at the grocery store every week that don’t require refrigeration. Canned goods, Boxes meals, spaghetti, cereal and even cured meats are all shelf stable.

Canned goods are labeled with a “best by date”, not an “expiration date” and depending on who you ask, can last quite a bit longer than the date listed. I have eaten Spam and sloppy joe sauce that was well past its expiration.

Prepackaged Long Term Food

There are quite a few long term food storage companies to choose from and we sell Legacy foods at the SHTFshop.com. The main benefit I find from long term food is the “set it and forget it” factor. If properly stored you don’t need to worry about rotating these long term foods once or twice a year.

With Legacy foods you can also get a little more variety than you would making everything from scratch from 5 gallon buckets, and companies like Auguson Farms and Honeyville have products like powdered milk and eggs that would be hard to store otherwise.

Like I said earlier we don’t rely on one food storage method, we store a little of everything on this list. Having some prepackaged long term food is a good starting point as you work your way up to some of the DIY food storage techniques.

DIY 5 Gallon Buckets

You have no doubt heard or seen the 5 gallon bucket method, and it really isn’t as complicated as it looks. It only takes 4 things to store food in 5 gallon buckets, the buckets, Mylar bags, oxygen absorber’s and the correct food.

I say the correct foods because some foods last longer than others, and some need to be stored differently than others. This article from Prepared Housewives explains 5 gallon buckets in more detail.

Lisa and I are also in the process of adding a Prepping Crash Course at the Survivalist Prepper Academy and we will be going through food storage as well as first aid, water storage and threat assessment.

Other DIY Food Storage

There are also quite a few other DIY food storage ideas to choose from like Canning, meal Jars, Medium term storage and Dehydrated food. Some of these can be pretty involved, and some of these are pretty easy to learn.

Canning might take you a little longer to learn because of the techniques and supplies, but putting together freezer meals or meals in jars are a little easier. My suggestion is to pick something you might be interested in, give it a try and see how it goes, but don’t try everything all at once because it might be too much to handle.

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Situational Awareness: What it Means to Preppers

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Situational Awareness What it Means to PreppersWith the Terror attack that occurred in Paris, the reality that these attacks are becoming more wide spread and the fact that there seems to be no end in sight, I’ve been thinking about how people are oblivious to their surroundings these days.

Everyone seems to have their heads buried in their cell phones, listening to music on their headphones, or just simply day dreaming about what they are going to do after work, without a care in the world about what is going on around them.

The definition of situational awareness is having the mindset in which you are constantly evaluating your surroundings for dangerous situations and any potential threats to your safety.

This doesn’t just mean watching for terrorists, this means being aware of your surroundings at the grocery store, walking down the street and getting into your car, because disaster can strike anywhere at any time.

The only difference between a terrorist and an average everyday criminal is the size of their weapons. They are both weak minded cowards that prey on the weak and unsuspecting, and they both focus on soft targets that give them the best possible chance for success.

As preppers we probably have a better understanding of situational awareness (or should have) than most people these days, but how much thought do we give it on a daily basis? I’ll admit, I too “fall asleep at the wheel” at times, but is shouldn’t take an attack like this to wake us up. As preppers we should always try to practice situational awareness and avoid dangerous situations as much as possible.

You might think of the military when you think about situational awareness, but the same principals apply to prepping and keeping ourselves out of dangerous situations. Here are a few things to think about to become more situationally aware.

Analyze Your Vulnerabilities

Analyze Your VulnerabilitiesThe first thing you need to do is take a look at what you do to make yourself a target, as well as your strengths and weaknesses. There are certain things we can change right off the bat, and some things we just have to deal with. Take a hard look at what you do on a daily basis that you could change.

  • When you walk out of a store are you paying attention to what other people are doing? Or do you walk straight to your car with your head down?
  • If you are at a sporting event or crowded area do you know where the easiest exit is?
  • Are you guilty of having your head buried in your phone while you are walking down the street?

The things we do daily like driving to work become routine and subconscious. How many times have you been driving somewhere and took the wrong turn because subconsciously you were driving to work…I have a few times.

Survey Your Surroundings

In order to assess your surroundings you need to have a baseline, look for anomalies and have a plan of action. This is a little easier to do in places you travel every day, but even if you are someplace new, we still have a general idea of how things should be.

Establish a Baseline: Like I said this is pretty easy in places you go all the time but here are a few examples…

  • If you work in an office most people will probably be wearing suits or dressed nice.
  • People in the park during the summer will be wearing less clothing that they would on colder days.
  • People at Walmart are rude and dress funny. Seriously though, watch how oblivious people are at Walmart…talk about a soft target!

Look for Anomalies: Now that you have a baseline to work from you can more easily spot the anomalies or anything out of the ordinary. Someone wearing a lot of clothing in the summer months doesn’t necessarily mean they are hiding weapons, but at the very least it should register in your head to be cautious.

Have a Plan of Action: If you do see something out of the ordinary you need to have a plan to react, or have a plan to avoid the situation all together. With a little practice this is actually easier to do than you think, as long as you aren’t staring at your phone the whole time.

Prepared vs Paranoid

don't be paranoidThere is a huge difference between being aware of a situation and ready to act than being paranoid and over reacting. The last thing we want to do is go through life scared, because that’s what the bad guys want.

Someone accidentally leaving a backpack at a bus stop while they walk into a 7-11 to get a soda doesn’t mean you run away screaming “BOMB!”

But if someone were to leave a suitcase in an airport terminal and walk away with no intention to return, that might be a good time to alert the proper authorities.

Demonstrate Awareness

Like I said earlier, criminals and terrorists look for soft targets that give them the best chance for success. Something as little as looking people in the eyes and giving the perception that you will not go quietly could cause them to move on to the next target.

You don’t need to have your concealed carry weapon (although you should) you just need to look like you might. Having a handgun, pepper spray or a pocket knife on you could give you the confidence you need without even having to use them.

Beware of Preconceived Notions

Just because someone is wearing a 3 piece suit doesn’t mean they will not do you harm, and just because someone looks homeless doesn’t mean they are going to rob you blind.

You hear all the time about people impersonating police officers, and what a better way of getting you off guard than praying on your preconceived notions. This is especially true in a SHTF situation. A woman with a baby coming to your front door asking for food could be a bigger threat than a mean looking biker.

The S.T.A.N.D. Acronym

Take a Stand Acronym

Situational Awareness: Be aware of your surroundings and be ready to act if the situation arises. Don’t be paranoid, but be prepared to do what is necessary to protect yourself whether that means fight or flight.

Tactical Advantage: In military terms this could mean fighting from the high ground or covering your 6 (your back.) In the streets it could mean not getting caught alone and be ready to react if the situation arises.

Assets on Hand: This could mean what you are carrying with you or knowing what is around you that can be used. What supplies do you have laying around your job that could be used to defend yourself?

Neutralize the Threat: Sometimes the situation doesn’t call for extreme force, neutralizing the threat could mean removing yourself from the situation.

Determination: Be prepared to finish what you started, having pity on an attacker will only lead them to think you are weak. Sometimes this might mean using lethal force, and sometimes it might mean hogtying them and waiting for the authority’s. Always be prepared to end the threat by any means necessary.

Increase Your Situational Awareness?

By practicing our observational skills everyday we can train ourselves to become aware of our surroundings. This article from GreatNortherPrepper talks about playing games that increase your memory and watching for details…

Pick out details in daily life

If you have to drive to work everyday start to pay attention to the things around you on your drive. Pick out 5 random things on your drive into work and on your way home. Like a name “tagged” in spraypaint on an overpass, a lightpole that is out, a Dog in a yard, how busy a store is that you pass. The next day see if you can remember them on that same stretch of road, see if its there, if it changed, etc.

Do this every day. If you dont remember everything thats ok, its building those neurons in your brain to start to do this automatically. The Brain is like a muscle, and like when you learned to throw a ball, play tennis, whatever, you had to practice over and over again until it began to become “right”. Your brain is the same way, over time it will start to do this automatically and you will notice EVERYTHING that is out of place.

Make sure and read the whole article from the Great Norther Prepper website about situational preparedness for preppers, it has some great information from a former veteran.

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Survivalist Prepper Podcast Listener Questions

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Survivalist Prepper Podcast Listener QuestionsThis weeks podcast was all listener questions. We had questions ranging from just getting started prepping, to being more efficient with preparing to surviving an economic collapse.

We get quite a few question, and I try to put aside the emails that I think would be helpful to a lot of people who listen to the show. Most of these questions deserve more than just a 1 paragraph answer so Lisa and I decided to answer them on the show.

Because of time constraints we didn’t get to all the questions we had, but I am keeping then set aside for a later show. If you have a question you would like us to answer on the show just send an email to dale@survivalistprepper.net and we’ll answer it in the next Q & A show.

SPP121 Listener Questions

LYNN – How Prepared am I?

Your podcasts have kept me company on many a road trip. I decided to join the academy for some more direct skill knowledge and honestly for some of the give always.  I have been “prepping” for about 8 months. While I have the support of my family, other than weapons, it has all been left to me.

I feel like your “squirrel” episode. Being torn in so many directions.  I have two girls away at college.  Both have get home bags and a plan. And a younger daughter at home who is pretty secure with a 9mm.  My husband is extremely smart and has always been physically fit until a trip over a retaining wall in our yard playing soccer shattered his back resulting in 9 surgeries in the last 6 years.  Although the he is still physically fit he has quite a few mobility issues.

We have a good amount of food stored, ammo, water in the pool and purifiers and hopefully most of the other basic items needed to hang on in a SHTF scenario. We learned a lot during the 2011 tornadoes which devastated part of our area but left the whole city without power for a week with very very limited cell phone coverage.  I have no idea if I am truly prepared or not.

I would love for someone to come in and tell me where my holes are.  I guess my questions revolve around skill.  I am suburban girl with absolutely no skills whatsoever. I’m not even sure of the skills I need.  I just started a fall garden but have no idea how to can or hunt and although our family just took a pistol class from tactical response I am a horrible shot.

You talk a lot about practicing skills which is so hard when you have no idea where to start and not a lot of time.  I wanted to make a solar oven but there were so many directions on the Internet and I have no idea which one would work and really didn’t have time to sort through them all- so I just gave up.

So I’m not sure if I directly answered your questions and I probably gave you more information than a gray man should but I guess I’m just hoping to learn.  Squirrel!

Thanks!

TIFFINI – Preparedness Foundation

As new preppers just getting started, there’s so much information out there and so many things to do, what’s the first thing we should focus on? Getting off on the right foot helps to ensure we continue without getting frustrated and possibly giving up.

CHAD – Prepping Efficiently

Hey guys. I just found your podcast this week and have listened to the past 10 or so episodes. I feel like I’ve already learned a lot, but I’m one of those cats that doesn’t believe you can ever know too much though, so you’ll probably get questions from me periodically. Now, to answer your questions:

My top question isn’t so much about preparedness as it is about efficiency. We are a family of 4 with a modest size home inside our city limits (unfortunately. Thank God we live in a small town and not a metropolis). My goal is to be as prepared as humanly possible for any situation that may occur. That

being said, I could use help figuring out how to maximize the little space I do have so I can stockpile as much as possible. I hope I’m making sense here. I don’t know enough about preparedness to really know what my most important specific question should be, so I’m going with this.

MAX – The Next Level of Prepping

Hello. I have recently jumped into the prepping lifestyle and have been really enjoying it. It started out as something I could do as a hobby, but I can see over the course of the year or so I have been involved that it is going to be much more than that. I have been listening to your podcast for a while now and I am just about caught up. Really good stuff and very well done. You guys definitely deserve the 5 start review I left on iTunes.

it is hard for me to really nail it down to one specific question, but what I find myself dealing with these days is how I can push my preparedness to the next level and how to tie in preparedness with the recent addition to my family (my wife and I just had our first child. A real cutie who is a little over one month). I know these topics are not an easy answer and I have been continuing to do my research.

My biggest push right now is to extend my food storage from about a month to much longer. Just bought my first 20b bag of rice and plan on getting some mylar bags to store it long term. Beans is next on the list. Any recommendations on what kind to get?

SCOTT – Preparing for an Economic Collapse

Hello Dale

I have been listening to your podcast for a while and I’m always eager to learn about different ways to reach a better state of preparation for the impending social/economic collapse. Keep up the good news.

CYNDI – Suburban Prepping

I would like to learn more about staying put in suburbia.  Most people are not able to have a BOL to go to so we need this information.  I read all the time about BOL’s (bug out locations) and urban areas but very little on the Suburbs.  We have about 167 homes in our neighborhood and there are all kinds from stay at home moms, cops, medical professionals to the occasional street kid.

I am a 50 something nana whose kids and grandkids just moved out after having to live with us for 5 years, so please post information for middle class suburbia.

Academy Contest

During the show we talked about the next giveaway at the Survivalist Prepper Academy. In the next couple of weeks we will be giving away a Voyager Crank Radio from CampingSurvival.com, a couple of Bug Out Bag First Aid Kits and maybe even a few more smaller prizes.

Underground Tunnels

During Tin Foil Hat Time we talked about underground tunnels and government facility’s. Any time you talk about underground facility’s Denver International Airport inevitably come up. Lisa and I talked about how viable this is because of satellite imagery and governments needing to hide what they are doing.

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Winter Preparedness Supplies: Inventory and Rotation

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Winter Preparedness Supplies Inventory and RotationInventory and Rotation Time

For those of us that live in the northern states it’s that time of year again, and depending on who you are, you either love the winter or hate it. None the less it’s time to get ready for the cold and snow and that means doing inventory of your winter preparedness supplies, rotating your supplies and picking up a few things you might need this winter.

Just like when we pull out the Christmas decorations most of them are fine, but there is always something broken or something that just doesn’t work. Our winter preparedness supplies are a little more important though, if our batteries are dead or our flashlight doesn’t work we need to get that fixed before it becomes a bigger issue.

Not only do we need to make sure we have everything ready to go in our home to prepare for a power outage, we also need to make sure we have the emergency preparedness supplies in our cars that we might need.

Most of us spend at least a couple of hours a day traveling from place to place and during the winter months the weather, road conditions and consequences are far more extreme than the summer months.

This week in the show Lisa and I went over all the supplies you might need to be prepared for the winter months. You might have some of these supplies already, and some of them you might need to replace or buy.

SPP120 Winter Preparedness

Food and water is by far the most important part of preparedness regardless of the time of year, but in the winter you might not be able to get to the grocery store. At the very least make sure you can go a couple of weeks without leaving your home.

After you have food and water covered it’s time to take inventory of what you have and get the few things you might need. Everyone has their own way of doing inventory, but I use this worksheet here if you want to use it also.

Lights out Kit

LIghts Out KitBecause of severe weather power outages are more likely in the winter months. You should have a lights out kit ready to go at all times, but it becomes more important in the winter months.

  • Plastic Tote to Put Everything in.(HERE)
  • Candles
  • Solar Lights (HERE)
  • Oil lamps (and fuel)
  • Batteries
  • Solar Generator (HERE)
  • Solar Chargers (HERE)
  • Lighters
  • Crank Radio (HERE)
  • Extension Cords

The Voyager Crank Radio

Ways to Cook or Heat Food

If the power goes out for an extended period of time we are going to need a way to cook or heat our food. Most people would be eating boxed cereal and crackers, but we are not most people…we are preppers.

cooking off the grid

  • Outdoor Grill
  • Coleman Stove (HERE)
  • Fuel (Coleman, Propane, Charcoal, Wood)
  • Sun Oven (HERE)
  • Camp Stove (HERE)
  • Fireplace
  • Sterno Fuel (HERE)
  • Can Opener

Staying Warm

staying warm in winterStaying warm is critical in the winter months but remember, in a power outage it won’t be as easy as turning up the thermostat when you get cold.

  • Heat 1 Room
  • Carhartt Overalls (HERE)
  • Dress in Layers
  • Spare Blankets
  • Fireplace Maintained
  • Space Heater (HERE)
  • Extra Fuel and Wood

Home Maintenance

winter home maintainanceBy doing routine maintenance on your home you can prevent a small problem from becoming a bigger one. It’s much easier to fix these problems now while it’s warm than it will be when the temperatures fall below zero.

  • Check window Seals
  • Plastic Window Cover (HERE)
  • Manual Options for Powered Appliances.
  • Clean Gutters
  • Cover Exposed Pipes
  • Clean or Change Furnace Filters
  • Test Smoke Detectors and Fire Extinguishers

Car Maintenance

Winter Car CareSitting on the side of the road in a snow storm is no fun at all. Winter conditions wreak havoc on our automobiles so make sure everything is in good repair before we get into the winter months.

  • Check Antifreeze
  • Oil Change and Fluids
  • A Half Tank of Gas is and Empty Tank of Gas
  • Tires (and Spare)
  • Window Washer Fluid
  • Check the Battery
  • New Wiper Blades
  • Check Brakes

Emergency Car Kits

Emergency Car KitsMost of us spend at least an hour a day in our cars, and this is one place that we are the most vulnerable and don’t give it a second thought.

  • Jumper Cables
  • Portable Generator (9 in one power station) (HERE)
  • USB Charger (HERE)
  • Car Jack – Do you have one?
  • Tools: Socket Set, Pliers, Screwdrivers etc. (HERE)
  • Folding Shovel (HERE)
  • Ice Scraper
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Cat Litter/Sand
  • Flashlight(s) and Batteries
  • First aid Kit (HERE)
  • Extra Clothes: Hat, Gloves, Coat, Shoes, Socks etc.
  • Wool Blanket
  • Hand Warmers
  • Solar Blanket
  • Sterno Fuel Canister
  • Rain Pancho
  • Chap stick
  • Sunglasses
  • Lighters/Fire Starter
  • Food and Water

6 in 1 Power Station (Portable Generator)

There is quite a few supplies that you need to make sure you are prepared for the colder months, but the odds are you have some of these supplies already. I use this worksheet to do inventory on my winter supplies. You can use that worksheet if you like, but even if you don’t, make sure and check the winter preparedness supplies you have and make sure you are good to go.

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15 SHTF Perimeter Security and Alarm Ideas

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15 SHTF Perimeter Security and Alarm IdeasLet’s imagine for a second that TEOTWAWKI (The end of the world as we know it) has just happened and our operational security gauge is pinned to the max, how long would it be until you noticed that someone, or some group was headed for your front door?

Perimeter security and alarms on our property in a SHTF event is critical because it could give us the valuable seconds we need to defend ourselves and our family.

This article is not about land mines and booby traps that could get you put in jail for accidentally taking your neighbors leg off, or about high-tech security systems. This article is about some low cost ways to deter someone from entering your property, or alerting you if they do.

SPP118 Perimeter Security and Alarms

These ideas are not just for home security, with a little imagination these can be used on the event you need to bug out or set up camp somewhere other than your home. If you have any perimeter security ideas that aren’t listed here I would love to hear them in the comments below.

Intruder Deterrents

Dogs

This is the lowest tech option here, but affective none the less. You won’t need electricity or extra batteries, but you will need to feed them every day. The dog doesn’t necessarily have to be aggressive, it just needs to sound aggressive and alert you that something is out of the ordinary.

Lisa and I have 1 dog who stays outside and is very protective of his property, and a dog who lives inside that sounds like he would eat your face off, but loves people so long as they are welcome guests. If you can survive his dog style high fives to the crotch, you are probably good to go.

For this application the size and aggressiveness aren’t a factor, the ruckus they make is.

Dog Bones & Scarecrows

chiwawa big dog boneAlong with owning a dog (and even if you don’t) is having dog toys laying around the front yard. I’m not talking about tennis balls and little dog bones, I’m talking about a dog bone the size of a human leg.

Our dog doesn’t play with tennis balls because they get shredded within minutes. He does play with a flattened basketball however. These 2 signals alone might make someone think twice before entering your property.

scarecrow securityThis might sound a little like Halloween but think about it, If you had a scarecrow or mannequin set up on your front porch, sitting on a rocking chair and holding a broom stick, what would that look like to someone walking up to your house in the evening? The first thing that comes to my mind is a grumpy old man with a shotgun.

Posted Signage

you are on camera gun ownerAs I’ll talk about later having a sign posted and a fake security camera that says you have a security system could be a deterrent to an intruder. Most criminals are lazy and are looking for the easiest target with the least amount of risk involved.

In a SHTF situation this might not work as well as because the chances of police coming to help you are minimal. In this case a “beware of dog” sign or a “never mind the dog, beware of owner” sign might be more affective.

Operational Security

As the saying goes “You don’t have to be faster than the bear, just faster than the person next to you.” The same holds true for your home. Your house doesn’t have to look like a junk yard, but you might want it to be less appealing than the rest of the homes in your neighborhood.

Put yourself in the shoes of a criminal or marauder, what would they see as they drive by and case the neighborhood? Is there a nice shiny BMW sitting in the driveway, or is your garage door always open?  Is there anything about your home that says “I’m an easy target, come on in.”

Funnel Them In

funnel them inWhenever we walk somewhere (even just around the yard) we always subconsciously pick the easiest route, it’s only after we consciously think about it that we pick the best route.

Since 6” tall electrified security fences are not an option for most of us we need to think outside the box a little bit. Have a look at the perimeter of your home and figure out a system to funnel them where you want them to go.

You can plant trees like the Russian olive tree or put up a fence but if someone wants to get in, they will. If you make sure and have a clearly defined “easy route” you will at least know where they are coming from.  If there are bushes surrounding your house and the only two easy entrance ways are the driveway and back walk way, most people are going to take the easies, quietest route.

Know Thy Neighbor

This could possibly be the easiest and low cost option available, all you have to do is take some cookies to your neighbor and say hello. You don’t need to become best buds with your neighbors, but if they feel like they know you (even just a little) they will be more inclined to tell you if they see something strange.

Just a little side note, when you bring them a gift they will feel like they owe you. I’m not talking in a bad way like “Great! Now I have to make them some cookies.” I’m talking about “This person was nice to me, so I guess I’ll let them know I saw someone driving by their house really slow last night.”

Perimeter Alarms & Cameras

Motion Detector

mighty mule driveway alarmThere are all sorts of options when it comes to motion sensors ranging from well under $100 to over $200 dollars.  A simple motion detector like this one is less than $20 has limited range, but depending on the size of your property is very useful.

Some of these motion detectors will set off an alarm at the detector itself, but some will alert you remotely, as will some of the higher end models.

Game Cameras

Having one of these game cameras won’t alert you right away, but if you happen to scare someone off you might get a picture of who or what was trying to get a closer look at you.

These game cameras run around $50 give or take so it might be a better idea to cover your other bases before you get one of these. These are more of a ‘Recon” or “Intel” type of security rather than an alarm.

Motion lights

solar security lightsThe bad guys like to hide in the cover of darkness. If we can take that away, we take away the element of surprise. These might not alert us like sound would, but combined with an audible alarm this could be very affective.

These could be as simple as a few solar yard lights strategically placed, or high wattage security lights that make them feel like they just stepped on stage at Madison Square Gardens. The more you can see, the more you can assess the situation.

Trip Lines

Brite-Strike Camp Alert Perimeter Security Alarm SystemsI recently ordered one of these Brite-Strike Camp Alert Perimeter Security Alarm Systems and will be doing a video review of it shortly. It comes with 65 feet of mono filament line, 2 L.E.D. lights and the alarm unit.

This product is marketed for camping and hiking which makes it perfect for bug out bags, but it can be used in places around your property like driveways, walkways or funneled pathways you have created.

Tin Can Trip Wire

Along the same lines at the Brite Strike is a DIY trip line. These can be made with fishing line or paracord and tin cans filled with rocks or anything else that clanks and makes noise.

Pull String Firecrackers

Ok, were talking super low budget here, and you probably won’t want to depend on securing your entire perimeter with a bunch of firecrackers, but in certain situations they can be better than nothing.

These could be used around a barn, shed or even the threshold of your front porch to alert you of an unwanted presence. Just like the Brite Strike these can be useful for bugging out or camping.

Night Vision

night vision monocularDepending on what you get night vision binoculars (or monocular like this one) can get pretty expensive. This could work out in your favor though because that means not everyone will have them…civilians anyway.

Being able to see at night will level the playing field and possible tip it in your favor. While the really good night vision will put you back over $1000, there are some lower cost monocular’s that will do the job, and even some toys that can do the job at close range.

Night Vision Camera

Bunker Hill Security Color Security SystemI found this night vision camera set up on eBay and for the price it almost seems too good to be true. But after watching a few videos it doesn’t look too bad for the price.

This is not true night vision like you see on TV, but you will be able to see movement at night. With some strategically placed lighting this could be a good set up for the price. I’ll be doing a review on this soon also.

Fake Security Cameras

fake security cameraAt the very least you can get a couple of fake security cameras, and in combination with a “this property protected by” sign in the front yard. Keep in mind, just like the scarecrow, this is a bluff that will hopefully make someone think twice.

If you were to combine just a few of these options and use them to secure the perimeter of your property, you would become less of a target than just about everyone in your neighborhood. Sometimes the impression you are paying attention is just as important as having these security devices and alarms themselves.

The post 15 SHTF Perimeter Security and Alarm Ideas appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.

Saving Money Prepping With Coupons

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Saving Money Prepping with CouponsWith as much as there is to buy what it comes to preparing we are always looking for a way to save a few bucks here and there. One option is to save money with prepping using coupons. Although it does take some time upfront clipping coupons and getting everything together, the benefits can be huge depending on how much time and energy you put into it.

Getting started using coupons does not have to be an overwhelming task. It is just like everything else we do, baby steps! Start by planning out your shopping trip, and coordinating that with the local sale flyers from your local stores. And don’t just think about the grocery store ads, also remember places like CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid.

Or if you don’t have these specific drug stores in your area, look within your local drug store. Most of these places not only have weekly flyers, but many of them also have coupons as well as store loyalty cards. This is where you can really save a lot of money on personal care items such as toiletries, cleaning supplies, and odds and ends.

You don’t have to rely on just finding the coupons within your Sunday paper, and store flyers, look to the pros online, like…

Print out the coupons you like, and then get them organized in some way so they are easy for you to find when you get to the grocery store. You can choose to use a coupon binder, or small accordion type file, or whatever works best for you.

You can get creative too, by enlisting the help of others. For example, if you have friends or neighbors that get the paper, ask them if you can have their coupons, the worst they are going to do is say no, right? I bet a lot of them don’t even use the coupons, so why not see if you could have them.

Start small, and then when you have some success, build on it. Start keeping track of the grocery store sale cycles.

Topics we Discussed in the Podcast

This week we had Traci on who has been couponing for 30 years and believe it or not started clipping coupons as a teenager. Here are some of the things we talked about in the show this week…

SPP115 Saving Money Prepping With Coupons

  • Getting started using coupons.
  • Some ways to get extra coupons.
  • How much time does the planning and coupon clipping stage take.
  • What are the best websites and apps for couponing? (Listed Above)
  • I have seen a couple of extreme couponing shows, is this realistic?
  • What would be a good way for someone to get started, who doesn’t have any experience with coupons?
  • Any useful tips that have helped you to get you to where you are with you amazing skills?
  • How much time does it take to do this? Walk us through an average week for you.
  • Suggestions on keeping your coupons Organized.
  • Other than news papers are there websites that you can go to? And what are some other ways to find coupons or just good deals.
  • What are some of your couponing techniques and/or processes?

Monthly Shopping Deals

Monthly Shopping Deals

I found this incredible list at LivingRichlyOnABudget and for a more detailed list make sure and have a look at her website. You will also find other money saving tips while you’re there.

January

Super Bowl Sunday: Pepsi, Coke, Chips, Dips, Cheese, Sandwich Items, Crackers, Snacks, Wings.

Clearance: Christmas Decorations, Toys, Wrapping Papers,

February

National Canned Food Month: Canned Fruit, Pie Fillings, Vegetables, Meats: Tuna, Chicken, Salmon

March

Frozen Food Month: Ice Cream, Frozen Vegetables (Boxed, Bag, or Steam), Frozen Meals, Foster Farms Chicken, Waffles, Pizza

April

Easter:  Ham, Eggs, Spices, Baking Supplies: Sugar, Spices, Baking Mixes, Chocolate Chips, Butter, Coconut, Marshmallows, Brownie Mix, Cake Mix

Earth Day: Organic Foods, Energy Saver, Reusable Totes

Clearance: After Easter sales

May

Memorial Day: BBQ Sauce, Condiments, Charcoal, Salad Dressing, Potato Chips, Dips, Grilling Meats, Hot Dogs, Hamburger Meat, Marinade, Salad Greens

Paper Products: Plates, Utensils, Insect Repellant, Sunscreen

June

National Dairy Month: Eggs, Milk, Ice Cream, Cheese, Cream Cheese, Butter, Yogurt, Whipping Cream, Whipped Cream, Cool Whip

End of June is Fourth or July Sales: Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, BBQ Sauce, Ketchup, Condiments, Charcoal, Salad Dressing, Potato Chips, Dips

July

More 4th of July BBQ Sales: Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, BBQ Sauce, Ketchup, Condiments, Charcoal, Salad Dressing, Potato Chips, Dips

End of July: Back to School Sales Begin: Crayons, Pencils, Folders, Binders

August

Back to School: Pudding cups, Lunch meat, Lunchables, Bread, Cold Cereal, Waffles, Lunchboxes

Clearance:  Insect Repellant, Sunscreen, Charcoal

September

Back to School Sales through Labor Day:  Crayons, Pencils, Folders, Binders

Baby Items: Major Baby Equipment, Baby Safety

October

Halloween: Candy, Fresh Pumpkin

Beginning of the Baking Sales: Canned pumpkin, Evaporated Milk, Baking Chips.

Daylight Savings Time Ends Promotions: Alarm Clocks, Batteries, Safety Equipment, Smoke Detectors

November

Baking Sales in Full Swing: Nuts, Chocolate Chips, Evaporated Milk, Sweetened Condensed Milk, Coconut, Cake Mixes, Hot Cocoa, Coffee, Tea.

Canned foods: Soup, Broth, Vegetables, Fruits, Spaghetti Sauce

Thanksgiving Items: Turkey, Canned Pumpkin, Stovetop Stuffing, Betty Crocker Boxed Potatoes, Gravy Mixes, Frozen Pies, Cranberry Sauce, Jell-O.

December

Holiday Dinner: Egg Nog, Deli Platters, Instant Potatoes, Gravy Mixes, Frozen Pies, Cranberry Sauce, Jello, Marshmallows. Sour Cream Dips, Crackers, Chips, Soda, Ham

Baking: Flour, Sugar, Butter, Cream, Cake Mix, Brownie Mix, Muffin Mix, Breads, Pie Crust, Marshmallow, Whipped cream

Canned Foods: Soup, Broth, Condensed Milk, Vegetables, Fruits, Spaghetti Sauce

Clearance: After Thanksgiving and After Christmas Sales

And the key to saving money, and stocking up, is to buy the things when they are at their lowest prices. So even if you don’t have a lot of coupons, by purchasing items when they are at their lowest price, you will be saving money, and then you won’t be spending the premium price at other times of the year.

Unfortunately couponing has gotten some bad publicity, thanks in part to shows like extreme couponing, but don’t let that detour you from saving money. You may not be able to walk out with two carts full of groceries and spend $5.86, at first, but with some due diligence, you will be able to save money while preparing some amazing meals for your family!

Not only can you save money with clipping coupons, but you can also use that extra money to add to your long term food and supply storage.

If you save $20.00 by using coupons, or buying items that are on sale, or both, you can take that extra $20.00 and use it to buy additional items to add to your long term goal. And the more you practice this, the better you will become. It is a pretty great feeling to spend less at the store, but you are actually bringing home more.

So what are you waiting for?????

Start clipping those coupons!

10 Things You Should Never Buy Again

10Things You should Never Buy again coverI also has yet another book published on Amazon titled 10 Things You Should Never Buy Again.

Academy Members: You can get this book free (and all the other books) here at the Academy, but remember you must be logged in to view the books page.

Here is an excerpt from the description…

“When you go to the store, you are bombarded with millions of products that the manufactures want you to buy. Their main goal is to separate you from your hard earned dollars. And they will do whatever they can to get you to fork out the money to buy their “stuff”. And they are very good at doing that.

But what if you never had to buy any of that stuff ever again? How much money could you save?” READ MORE HERE…

Tin Foil Hat Time

One World Government

This week in the Tin Foil Hat Time segment of the show we talked about Agenda 2030 which is basically a blueprint for so-called “sustainable development” around the world…translation, “World Government” We found this article that goes into detail about what this could all mean when you read between the lines.

As much as they would like us to believe this is all sunshine and roses, we know it never turns out that way.

New to Prepping?

If you are just beginning your preparedness journey you will find this video very helpful. Along with this video we will be sending you some email’s over the next few weeks that will give you some tips and resources to make life a little easier. Click here to watch the video.

The Preparedness Myth…

The preparedness Myth video series will also help even if you have been doing this for a while. It will give you tips about saving money, organization as well as a few bonuses along the way. Click here to watch the video.

Leave Us A Review On iTunes:

Reviews are always appreciated and I will be reading the reviews on the show along with shout outs for sharing great comments and emails. Head over to iTunes and leave us a review and help us grow.

Back To All Podcast Episodes

Dale

SurvivalistPrepper.net

 

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